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Full text of "The Royal institute of painters in water colours"

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CORNELL 
UNIVERSITY 




COLLEGE OF 

ARCHITECTURE 

LIBRARY 



ND 17l3.R6H74 UniVersi,yLibrar >' 
!SSS J?J.'!»Btut. of painters in water 




3 1924 016 789 475 




< 



Cornell University 
Library 



The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924016789475 



/ 




NUMBER- SPRING 1906 





JOHN LANE COMPANY OFFICES 
OF THE INTERNATIONAL STUDIO, 
67, FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK 



fyxwtll ftahrngitg |f torg 

BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME 
FROM THE 

SAGE ENDOWMENT FUND 

THE GIFT OF 

Hen in W. Sage 

1891 



Azozzof lok/mk 




5901 



THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 
OF PAINTERS IN WATER 
COLOURS 



Edited by Charles Holme 







OFFICES OF C THE STUDIO,' LONDON 
PARIS, AND NEW YORK MCMVI 



PREFATORY NOTE 

In accordance with the course pursued in the preparation of the 
special number of The Studio dealing with the " Old " Water- 
Colour Society, the Editor has confined the illustrations in the 
present volume to reproductions in colours of the original drawings. 
This has, naturally, limited the number of plates, and the work of 
many well-known painters could not, in consequence, be represented. 
But he believes that the selection he has made will be found to 
be representative of the varied phases of the art of water-colour 
painting as practised by past and present members of the Royal 
Institute. 

To those who have kindly assisted him by the loan of original 
drawings the Editor tenders his cordial thanks, and in particular 
desires to acknowledge the aid he has in this way received from 
Mrs. Boughton ; Dr. Dyce Brown ; Mr. R. J. Coleman ; Mr. 
Frankland Gaskell ; Mrs. Gulich ; Mr. Herman Hart ; Mr. Alfred 
S. Henry ; Mr. J. Henry Hill ; Mr. A. T. Hollingsworth ; The 
Rev. William MacGregor ; Mr. Alexander M. Phillips ; Mr. Cecil 
L. Phillips ; Mr. Lawrence B. Phillips ; Sir Cuthbert Quilter, 
Bart. ; Mr. T. R. Way ; and Messrs. Ernest Brown and Phillips. 
He desires especially to acknowledge the courtesy of the President 
and Council of the Institute for allowing the reproduction of two 
diploma works. 



LIST OF REPRODUCTIONS IN 
COLOUR 



PLATE 



I. 


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II. 


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III. 


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IV. 


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V. 


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VI. 


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VII. 


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VIII. 


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IX. 


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X. 


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XI. 


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XII. 


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XIII. 


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XIV. 


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XV. 


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XVI. 


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XVII. 


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XVIII. 


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XIX. 


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XX. 


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XXI. 


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XXII. 


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XXIII. 


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XXIV. 


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XXV. 


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XXVI. 


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XXVII. 


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b 





Wareham Bridge." By H. G. Hine. 

The Student." By Charles Green. 

The Infant Pan." By Guido Bach. 

A French Fisher Girl." By Sir James D. Linton. 

Southwold from the Beach." By Tom Collier. 

The Birthday." By E. J. Gregory, R.A., P.R.I. 

Lincoln." By James Orrock. 

Sussex." By E. M. Wimperis. 

Misfits." By Sir John Tenniel. 

A dreary Stillness saddening o'er the Coast." By 

C. E. Holloway. 
On the Downs near Harting." By J. Aumonier. 
The Rotunda and Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre." 

By John Fulleylove,. 
April." By G. H. Boughton, R.A. 
The Last Flight." By Randolph Caldecott. 
The Tombs of the Kaliphs, Cairo." By Frank 

Dillon. 

Morning Mists, Hemingford Grey." By F- G. 

Cotman. 
Le Folgoet." By G. S. Elgood. 
Salmon Nets, Gairloch, Ross-shire." By Frank 

Walton. 
S. Maria della Salute." By Keeley Halswelle. 
An old Cornish Woman." By Walter Langley. ' 
A Fisherman's Treasure." By George Wetherbee. 
Those who Swim in Sin must Sink in Sorrow." By 

Frank Dodd. 
The Hayfield." By Claude Hayes. 
In the Park." By Alfred East, A. R.A. 
The Isar at Tolz." By Yeend King. 
A Highland Glen." By A. W. Weedon. 
An Allegory." By Jules Lessore. 



LIST OF REPRODUCTIONS IN COLOUR 
XXVIII. " On come the Curled Clouds." By Bernard Evans. 
XXIX. " The Street Show." By Kate Greenaway. 
XXX. " A Reader." By Robert Fowler. 
XXXI. " This— All This was in the Olden Time Long Ago." 
By St. George Hare. 
XXXII. " A Wet Day, Old Berwick Bridge." By R. B. Nisbet, 
R.S.A. 

XXXIII. " The Little Jacob." By Hans von Bartels. 

XXXIV. " The Art School." By John P. Gulich. 
XXXV. " Peonies." By Dudley Hardy. 

XXXVI. " Be Near Me when I Fade Away." By W. Lee 
Hankey. 
XXXVII. " When the Tide is Out." By J. S. Hill. 
XXXVIII. " Sunset." By G. C. Haite. 
XXXIX. " The Merchant." By John Hassall. 
XL. " Sadness in Spring." By James Clark. 



VI 



A CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF THE 
MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES OF THE 
ROYAL INSTITUTE OF PAINTERS 
IN WATER COLOURS FROM THE 
FOUNDATION OF THE SOCIETY IN 
1 83 1 TO THE PRESENT TIME 



N.B. — The names of those whose work is reproduced in the following pages 
are printed in capital letters) 



MEM. 



a 

6 
.S 00 

+J l-l 

-a 

a 

o 



1833 
1833 
1833 
1833 
^33 
1833 
1833 
1833 
1833 
1833 
1833 
1833 
1833 
1833 
1833 
1834 
1834 
1834 
1834 
1834 



/Joseph Powell 

(President, 1832) 

William Cowen 

James Fuge 

Thomas Maisey 

(President, 1833) 

Giles Firman Phillips 

George Sidney Shepherd 

William B. Sarsfield Taylor 
\ Thomas Charles Wageman 

W. H. Bach 

J. M. Burbank 

Robert William Buss 

George Chambers 

Alfred Clint' 

Thomas Sidney Cooper, R.A. 

Edward Duncan 

William Henry Kearney 

Thomas Lindsay 

M. Macpherson 

Ambrose Martin 

H. John Noblett 

E. J. Pasquier 

George Scharf 

Thomas Wood 

Valentine Bartholomew 

Gordon Bradley 

John Burgess, jun. 

J. A. Cahusac, F.R.S., F.S.A. 

George B. Campion 



MEM. 

1834 John Chase 

1834 H. E. Downing 

1834 Thomas Dunage 

1834 James Fahey 

1834 Rev.T. A. C. Firminger 

1834 Benjamin Richard Green 

1834 William N. Hardwick 

1834 George Howse 

1834 William Hudson 

1834 George Henry Laporte 

1834 William Oliver 

1834 Henry Parsons Riviere 

1834 Charles Harvey Weigall 

1835 Mrs. Chase (Miss Mary Anne Rix) 
1835 Louis Haghe ' 

(Pres., 1873, Hon. Pres., 1884) 

1835 Mrs. Mary Harrison 

1835 Miss Mary Anne Laporte 

1835 Francois Rochard 

1835 G. Sims 

1835 Henry Warren 

(Pres., 1839. Hon. Pres., 
' 1873) 

1836 John Martin 

1836 Douglas Morison ' 

1836 John Edward Newton 

1836 R. Kyrke Penson, F.S.A. 

1836 William Robertson 

1836 J. M. Tayler 

1837 Miss Louisa Corbaux 

vii 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES 



MEM. 






1837 


John 


Gilbert 


1837 


Lilburne Hicks 


1837 


Thomas Kearnan 


1837 


Edward Henry Wehnert 


1838 


Aaron Edwin Penley 


1838 


John Skinner Prout 


1838 


John 


Absolon 


1838 


Edward Henry Corbould 


1838 


Henry Johnston 


1839 


Henry Bright 


1839 


Miss . 


Fanny Corbaux 


1839 


Thomas Sewell Robins 


1839 


Alfred 


1 Henry Taylor 


1839 


William Telbin 


*ASSOC 


:. MEM. 




184O 


1841 


Thomas Shotter Boys 


184O 


1848 


F. J. D'Egville 


184O 


— 


Sir Oswald Walter Brierley 


184O 


1841 


William Knight Keeling 


184O 


— 


Thomas Miles Richardson, 


1 84I 


1845 


sen. 
David Cox, jun. 


1841 


1848 


Henry Maplestone 


1 84I 


— 


John M. Youngman 





1 841 


Miss Sarah Setchel 


1842 


— 


John Wykeham Archer 





1842 


Mrs. Mary Margetts 


1842 


1844 


George Haydock Dodgson 


1842 


1843 


Joseph John Jenkins 


1842 


1843 


Francis William Topham 


1843 


— 


Henry Jutsum 


1845 


1848 


John Callow 


1845 


— 


Miss Jane Sophia Egerton 


1845 


1848 


William Lee 


1846 


1852 


William Collingwood 


1846 


1861 


Henry Clark Pidgeon 


1846 


1850 


Charles Vacher 





1846 


Mrs. Harris (Miss Fanny 
Rosenberg) 





1846 


Miss Fanny Steers 


1847 


1849 


Charles Davidson 


1847 


1848 


John Henry Mole 

(Vice-President, 1884) 



ASSOC. 


MEM. 


1847 





1848 


1849 


1848 


185O 


1848 





1848 


185O 


1848 


1851 


1849 


l8 S4 


— 


1849 


1849 


185I 


1849 





1850 





1852 


1865 


1852 


1856 


1854 





— 


1854 


1854 


1879 


1854 


1857 


1856 


1863 


1857 


— 


1858 


— 


1858 


— 


1858 


1859 


1859 


— 


1859 


— 


i860 


1863 


i860 


i860 


— 


1861 


— 


1861 


1861 


1866 


1862 


1867 


1862 


1862 


1863 


1870 


1863 


1864 


1863 


1864 


1864 


1867 


1864 


— 


1864 


1875 


1865 


1868 


— 


1866 



Henry Theobald 
William Bennett 
Robert Carrick 
Michael Angelo Hayes 
David Hall McKewan 
Thos. Leeson Rowbotham 
Samuel Cook 
Mrs. William Oliver (Miss 

Emma Eburne) 
Harrison Weir 
William Wyld 
Thomas Hartley Cromek 
Augustus Jules Bouvier 
Edmund George Warren 
Charles Brocky 
Miss Emily Farmer 
Philip Mitchell 
Josiah Wood Whymper 
James George Philp 
Thomas Sutcliffe 
Edward Morin 
Gustave A. Simonau 
Henry F. Tidey 
Joseph Middleton Jopling 
Edward Richardson 
Edwin Hayes, R.H.A. 
Carl Werner 
Mrs. William Duffield (Miss 

Mary Anne Rosenberg) 
Mrs. Henry Murray (Miss 

Elizabeth Heaphy) 
Joseph Charles Reede 
William Wood Deane 
William Leighton Leitch 
Charles Cattermole 
HENRY GEO. HINE 

(Vice-President, 1887) 
George Shalders 
CHARLES GREEN 
William Lucas 
William Luson Thomas 
GUIDO R. BACH 
Mme. Rosa Bonheur 

(Honorary) 



* Associates were only elected between 1840 and 1878. 



Vlll 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES 



ASSOC. 



1866 



1866 
1866 
1866 
1867 



1867 



1867 
1867 



MEM. 

1866 Louis Gallait (Honorary) 
1868 George G. Kilburne 

1866 Jean Baptiste Madou 
(Honorary) 

1867 John Mogford 
1879 John Sherrin 
1 87 1 Lewis John Wood 
1 87 1 Richard Beavis 

— 1867 Mme. Henriette Browne 

{nee de Saux) (Honorary) 
1867 Frederick Goodall, R.A. 

(Honorary) 
Edward Hargitt 
John Rogers Herbert, R.A. 

(Honorary) 
James Thompson Hixon 
SIR JAMES DROM- 

GOLE LINTON 

[Vice-President, 1883, 

President, 1884) 
Daniel Maclise, R.A. 

(Honorary) 
James Mahony 
J. L. Meissonier (Honorary) 
Sir John Everett Millais, 

Bart., P.R.A. (Honorary) 
Henry Benjamin Roberts 
Valentine Walter Bromley 
Andrew Carrick Gow, R.A. 
Harry John Johnson 
TOM COLLIER 
Edward Henry Fahey 
William Small 
Hugh Carter 
EDWARD JOHN 

GREGORY, R.A. 

{President, 1898) 
1873 Hubert Herkomer, R.A. 
1873 Walter William May 

1875 JAMES ORROCK 

1876 Frederick John Skill 
1872 Joseph Israels (Honorary) 
1875 EDMUND MORISON 

WIMPERIS 
{Vice-President, 1895) 
1874 1877 James Hardy 



1871 
1867 



1870 



— 1867 

1867 — 

— 1867 

— 1867 

1870 

1870 
1870 
1872 
1876 
1874 
1875 
1876 



1867 
1868 
1868 
1868 
1870 
1870 
1870 
1871 
1871 



1871 
1871 
1871 
1871 

1873 



ASSOC 
1874 


MEM. 
1879 


1874 





1874 


1879 


1874 


1875 


1874 


1874 





1874 


1874 


1874 





1875 


1875 


1879 





1875 


1875 


1879 


1875 


1879 


1875 


1879 


1876 


1879 


1876 


1879 


1876 


1879 


1876 


1877 





1876 


1877 


1879 


1878 


1879 


1878 


1879 


1878 


1878 




1879 




1879 




1879 




1879 




1879 



1880 



1880 
1881 
1882 

1882 
1882 



John Adam Houston, 

R.S.A. 
John Wright Oakes, A. R.A. 
William Simpson 
John Syer 

SIR JOHN TENNIEL 
Miss Elizabeth Thompson 

(Lady Butler) 
Joseph Wolf 

Mrs. John Angell (Miss 
Helen Cordelia Coleman) 
Miss Marion Chase 
Miss Mary Gow 
H. Towneley Green 
CHARLES EDWARD 

HOLLOWAY 
Charles Joseph Staniland 
JAMES AUMONIER 
Edwin Bale 

George Clausen, A. R.A. 
Seymour Lucas, R.A. 
E. M. Ward, R.A. 

(Honorary) 
Thomas Walter Wilson 
JOHN FULLEYLOVE 
Harry Hine 

P. Falconer Poole, R.A. 
G. H. BOUGHTON, 

R.A. 
Lady Lindsay (of Balcarres 
Sir Coutts Lindsay, Bart. 
Henry J. Stock 
Frank Wm. Warwick 

Topham 
H. I. H. The Empress 

Frederick of Germany 

(Honorary) 
Lionel P. Smythe, A.R.A. 
Mark Fisher 
H.R.H. Princess Henry of 

Battenberg (Honorary) 
Charles Reginald Aston 
RANDOLPH CALDE- 

COTT 
FREDERICK GEORGE 

COTMAN 



IX 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES 



MEM. 




MEM. 


1882 


Walter Crane 


1885 


l882 


FRANK DILLON 


1885 


1882 


Charles Earle 


1885 


1882 


GEORGE S. ELGOOD 


1886 


1882 


KEELEY HALSWELLE, 






A.R.S.A. 


1886 


l882 


Dr. Edward Hamilton 






(Honorary) 


1886 


1882 


Colin Hunter, A.R.A. 


1886 


1882 


Charles Edward Johnson 


1886 


1882 


Joseph Knight 




1882 


Charles James Lewis 


1886 


1882 


Robert Walker Macbeth, 
R.A. 


1887 
1887 


1882 


Percy Macquoid 


1887 


1882 


Thomas R. Macquoid 


1882 


John Thomas Hamilton 
Macallum 


1887 


1882 
1882 


John MacWhirter, R.A. 
Alfred Parsons, A.R.A., 


1887 


1882 


Henry Pilleau 


1887 


1882 
1882 


John Isaac Richardson 
Arthur Severn 


1887 
1888 
1888 


1882 


Arthur Stocks 


l882 


Spencet Vincent (Honorary) 


1882 


FRANK WALTON 


1888 


1882 


John William Waterhouse, 




R.A. 




1882 


John White 


00 00 c 
OO 00 c 
00 00 c 


1882 


Richard Caton Woodville 


1882 


Wm. Lionel Wyllie, A.R.A. 


1058 


1883 


Edwin Austin Abbey, R.A. 


1888 
1888 


1883 


Thomas Huson 


1883 


WALTER LANGLEY 


1889 


1883 


Ludwig Passini 


1889 
1889 


1883 


J. R. Spencer Stanhope 


1883 


GEORGE FAULKNER 




WETHERBEE 


1889 


1884 


H.S.H. Count Gleichen 


1891 




(Honorary) 


1891 


1884 


FRANK DADD 


1891 


1884 


Charles Napier Hemy, 


1891 




A.R.A. 


1892 


1884 


Henry R. Steer 


1892 


1885 


Hector Caffieri 


1892 


1885 


Edward Combes, C.M.G. 
(Honorary) 


1892 



Thomas Pyne 

John Scott 

Wm. Harris Weatherhead 

H.S.H. Prince Louis of 
Battenberg (Honorary) 

H. E. Count Seckendorft 
(Honorary) 

John Charles Dollman 

CLAUDE HAYES 

Mme. Teresa Hegg de 
Landerset 

Joseph Nash 

ALFRED EAST, A.R.A. 

Cyrus Johnson 

YEEND KING (Vice- 
President, 1 901) 

Mrs. Lewis (Miss Jane M. 
Dealy) 

John O'Connor 

AUGUSTUS WAL- 
FORD WEEDON 

Miss Annie M. Youngman 

T. Austen Brown 

BERNARD WALTER 
EVANS 

Sir James C. Harris, 
K.C.V.O. (Honorary) 

William Hatherell 

Miss Alice Mary Hobson 

JULES LESSORE 

Miss Alice Squire 

William Barnes Wollen 

MISS KATE GREEN- 
AWAY 

Joshua Anderson Hague 

Carlton Alfred Smith 

Miss Kate Mary Whitley 

Edgar Bundy 

ROBERT FOWLER 

Max Ludby 

William Rainey 

Charles Maclver Grierson 

ST. GEORGE HARE 

George Sheridan Knowles 

ROBERT BUCHAN 
NISBET, R.S.A. 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES 



MEM. 




MEM. 


1893 


Joseph Lucien Davis 


1898 


1893 


Alfred Gilbert, R.A. 


1898 




(Honorary) 


1898 


1893 


Henry M. Rheam 


1898 


1893 


John Leslie Thomson 




1894 


Mme. Henriette Ronner 


1898 


l8 95 


B. J. Ottewell (Honorary) 




1896' 


Gordon Frederick Browne 


1898 


1896 


Arthur Alfred Burrington 


1898 


1896 


Edward Davies 


1898 


1896 


Miss Gertrude Demain 


1898 




Hammond 


1899 


1896 


Albert Kinsley 


1899 


1896 


John Bernard Partridge 


I9OO 


1896 


HANS VON B ARTELS 


I9OO 




(Honorary) 


I9OO 


1897 


William Douglas Almond 


I9OO 


1897 


William Wiehe Collins 


1901 


1897 


Frederick William Davis 


I9OI 


1897 


David Goold Green 




1897 


JOHN PERCIVAL 


1901 




GULICH 


I9OI 


1897 


DUDLEY HARDY 


I9OI 


1897 


Phil May 


I903 


1897 


Mortimer Menpes 


I9°3 


1897 


Arthur Douglas Peppercorn 


I903 


l8 97 


John Robertson Reid 


I9O3 


1897 


Frederic Stuart Richardson 


I904 


1897 


Charles Prosper Sainton 


I9O5 


1897 


Joseph Harold Swanwick 


I905 


1897 


Hugh Thomson 





James Shaw Crompton 
George Straton Ferrier 
Joseph Finnemore 
WILLIAM LEE 

HANKEY 
JAMES STEPHENS 

HILL 
Robert Gustav Meyerheim 
John Pedder 
Henry Ryland 
John Byam Liston Shaw 
Edward Charles Clifford 
Alexander MacBride 
Charles Edward Dixon 
Henry William Lowe Hurst 
Claude Allin Shepperson 
Arthur Winter-Shaw 
Thomas Arthur Browne 
GEORGE CHARLES 

HAITE 
JOHN HASSALL 
Cecil James Hobson 
Horatio Walker 
JAMES CLARK 
Graham Petrie 
Frank Reynolds 
John Sanderson Wells 
Terrick Williams 
Christopher Clark 
Alfred James Munnings 



XI 




THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL 
INSTITUTE OF PAINTERS IN 
WATER COLOURS 

LURING the period of nearly thirty years which 
intervened between the founding of the Royal 
Society of Painters in Water Colours and that 
of its chief rival, the association which is now 
known as the Royal Institute of Painters in 
Water Colours, the condition of affairs in the 
British art world had undergone some very 
considerable changes. The purpose of the first 
society was to unite the scattered forces of the 
young but promising water-colour school, and to give to painters 
who worked in the water-colour medium some special encourage- 
ment which would assist them in their efforts to develop the 
possibilities of the particular form of practice that they had chosen 
to follow. At first there had been no difficulty in adequately 
fulfilling this purpose, for the number of eminent water colourists 
who did not belong to other art associations like the Royal Academy 
was so limited that the majority of them could easily be included 
in the ranks of the " Old Society." 

Indeed, one of the best evidences of the adequacy of the " Old 
Society " during the earlier years of the nineteenth century is pro- 
vided by the failure of any other association started on the same 
lines, or with the same programme, to establish itself permanently. 
For something like a quarter of a century this institution was able 
practically to defy competition, and to strengthen itself year by year 
by drawing away from its rivals the few artists whose powers were 
distinguished enough to command any wide attention. Many of 
the famous names which were inscribed upon its roll of members 
at this time had figured in the list of supporters of one or other of 
the competing exhibitions, but the competition in no case continued 
for any long period and the ultimate gathering into the Society of 
the men who might have made efficient rivalry possible seemed to 
be an almost inevitable process. 

But, naturally, this condition of dignified and matter-of-course 
superiority could not endure for ever. The exertions of the Society 
on behalf of water-colour painting were bound to have the effect 

r i i 



THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 

of improving greatly the status of the art and of adding considerably 
to the number of the efficient practitioners who sought to attract 
the attention of the public. As the number increased the difficulty 
of including them all in one association grew greater, until at last 
it became impossible to cope with. The " Old Society " certainly 
continued to choose from the rapidly growing band of accomplished 
water-colourists those whom it considered to be worthiest of recog- 
nition, but it was unable by the very nature of its constitution to 
keep pace in its elections of new members with the demands for 
admission made by the outside artists. It was a close society with 
a limited membership, and it neither had, nor desired to have, the 
large gallery space necessary for the accommodation of a host of 
contributors. Exclusiveness, or rather the most careful selection, 
was an essential part of its policy, and from this policy it was not 
prepared to depart despite the change in the condition of affairs 
with which it had to deal. 

That this exclusiveness should be the cause of some degree of 
antagonism between the Society and the outside artists who wished 
to be admitted to its privileges was only to be expected. Through- 
out the history of all art institutions this antagonism has existed ; 
it is active enough at the present time, and, judging by an extract 
from a newspaper quoted by Mr. J. L. Roget in his exhaustive 
" History of the Old Water-Colour Society," this particular insti- 
tution was not exempt from the common fate. This extract is 
worth reproducing because there is in it a specific reference to the 
foundation of the Institute. "The monopoly of this institution," 
it runs, " by the paltry, mercenary workings of its members, has 
contributed mainly to its corruption and degradation. It is a farce, 
a notorious farce and falsehood, to suppose that Academies and 
Institutions professedly ' for the promotion of the best interests of 
the Fine Arts,' are anything, in fact, but monopolies for the pro- 
motion of the selfish interests of the few that constitute them. This 
institution, for instance, is exclusive in the narrowest degree, as if 
measured by the minds of the Directors, and proceeds entirely on 
the profitable principle of ' the fewer the better cheer.' No one 
out of the pale of the Society, however much his work may eclipse 
their own (and, perhaps, for that prudent principle alone), is per- 
mitted to exhibit here, and the consequence is that many draftsmen 
of the finest talent, but disdainful of the mere slip-slop character of 
water-colour painters, are refused the entree ; while those within; 
lining the walls, as it has been known, with fifty pictures by a single 
artist, spoil the exhibition by a dull, tedious monotony ; and if 
ii r i 



OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS 

they can be said to reign in this confined region, it is because 
they are one-eyed monarchs of the blind. We say not this in 
disparagement of the genius of several of them, but in reproba- 
tion of the contemptible system which excludes the delightful 
variety which might be produced by admitting a few of the 
sparkling productions of the more powerful masters. This illiberal 
policy, the offspring of sordid ignorance, has over-reached itself, 
and set afoot another gallery on a more enlightened and en- 
couraging principle." 

Despite the ridiculous exaggeration of this attack, with its revelation 
of personal animosity and stupid intolerance, it is significant because 
it shows how quickly the need had arisen for a widening of the 
opportunities open to painters in water colour. The " Old Society " 
had been in existence for only twenty-seven years when this bitter 
comment appeared — it was published in 1831 — but already there 
was room for another association with the same mission. This was 
proved by the fact that the gallery, " on a more enlightened and 
encouraging principle," was able to commence then a career which 
has continued with much distinction to the present day. Its fate 
has been very unlike that of "The New Society of Painters in Water 
Colours," which was formed in 1807, changed its name to "The 
Associated Artists in Water Colours" in 1808, and succumbed under 
an accumulation of financial difficulties in 18 12. The final 
experience of the artists who exhibited with this short-lived associa- 
tion was to see their works which were on view in the show held in 
that year seized and sold by the landlord of the gallery to pay arrears 
of rent. Evidently in 1 8 1 2 the " Old Society " was quite able to 
meet what demand there was for the exhibition of water colours, 
and could gather under its roof practically all the men who had any 
real standing as workers in the medium. But less than twenty years 
later there was a new generation of workers to reckon with, and this 
altered condition led necessarily to fresh and more efficient com- 
petition. By then there had been so much progress in the develop- 
ment of our water colour school that competition neither weakened 
the " Old Society " nor destroyed the competitor, but instead gave 
to the water colourists a necessary increase of opportunities for 
setting their claims to attention before the people who were 
interested in the art. 

So in 1 83 1 a small band of artists combined to organise a society 
which was to make the encouragement of the non-privileged worker 
an essential part of its policy. They added a further complication to 
the history of water-colour painting by naming their association 

R 1 iii 



THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 
" The New Society of Painters in Water Colours," and by opening, 
in 1832, their first exhibition in the same rooms, at 16, New Bond 
Street, which had been occupied by the defunct institution originally 
called by the same title. They still more complicated matters in 
1833 when they altered their name to "The Associated Artists in 
Water Colours," wilfully, it would seem, continuing the parallel 
with their predecessor ; and in 1834 they reverted to their first title, 
and were known once more as the " New Society of Painters in 
Water Colours " — and the " New Society " they remained for thirty 
years. These confusing changes were signs of much dissension in 
the ranks of the association, of dissensions great enough to threaten 
its very existence, and to make very doubtful its chances of ultimate 
success. During its first few years, indeed, it experienced some 
serious vicissitudes which in all probability would have abruptly 
ended its career if it had not had so obviously a mission to fulfil ; 
and as a consequence considerable modifications were introduced into 
the working scheme which had been originally laid down. 
One of the first ideas entertained by the promoters was that the 
exhibitions of the society should be open to all comers. This, in 
fact, was the " more enlightened and encouraging principle " which 
was to make the new venture so superior to the " Old Society," and 
to give it such special claims to attention as a disinterested opponent 
of privilege and monopoly. As a - result of this policy, there were 
in the inaugural show, in 1832, as many as a hundred and twenty 
exhibitors, who contributed three hundred and thirty drawings, and 
in the following year the exhibitors had increased to a hundred and 
seventy. These shows met with a very large measure of success ; 
they attracted a satisfactory number of visitors, and the record of 
sales was decidedly good. So promising a beginning was doubtless 
due in some measure to the efforts made by the originators to 
advertise their undertaking ; they sent round circulars broadcast 
to all kinds of artists, and they took care to enlist as supporters 
certain influential amateurs and art lovers. But a very brief 
experience sufficed to prove that the policy and the system of 
management were not conducive to smooth working. Apparently 
the heads 6f some of the people responsible for the control of the 
Society were turned by the welcome accorded by the public, and 
as a consequence the dissensions already referred to speedily arose. 
What was the nature of the trouble can be judged from an extract 
from a book, " Fine Arts in Great Britain and Ireland," written in 
1 841 by W. B. Sarsfield Taylor, one of the foundation members of 
the " New Society." In the brief summing up which he gives of 
iv R 1 



OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS 

the history of the Association he says : " But success, as we have 
seen in other cases, was the parent of cabal. Some of the 
members of inferior talent formed the project of getting the whole 
affair under their own control, and as that class composed the 
majority they succeeded in disgusting the respectable men, whose 
talents and respectability had established the exhibition. These 
gentlemen, of course, resigned. The cabal soon blundered into a 
lawsuit and various other foolish and extravagant contrivances 
during two or three years, until some better artists and more 
sensible men getting in amongst them, at a moment when the affair 
was nearly ruined, the new men turned out the leader of the cabal, 
a man named Maisey, who had usurped the office of President, and 
from that time their affairs seemed to have been going on very 
well." In this account there may be some colouring of personal 
feeling, for Sarsfield Taylor was one of the " respectable men " who 
resigned in disgust at the scheming of the " members of inferior 
talent," and no doubt memories of the fights between the two 
parties into which the Society was divided were, when he wrote, 
still rankling in his mind. 

But certainly he did not exaggerate when he said that the affair was 
nearly ruined by the foolish and extravagant contrivances of the 
people who were more anxious to advance what they conceived to 
be their own interests than to work for the benefit of the association 
as a whole. Things, indeed, came to such a pass that in 1834 
a great deal more had to be done, besides the turning out of the 
" man named Maisey " from the presidentship, to save the society 
from being hopelessly wrecked. A complete scheme of recon- 
struction was drawn up which involved the abandonment of much 
that had been included in the original programme. The most 
drastic alteration was the closing of the exhibitions to outside 
artists, a change which showed how little the idea of opposing 
the principle of the " Old Society " commended itself to the men 
who were most concerned with the establishing of the new body on 
a safe and workable basis. When the reconstituted society began 
operations in 1835 it had committed itself to more or less close 
imitation of its older competitor, and on these lines it continued to 
run for nearly fifty years. 

This 1835 exhibition was not held in the Bond Street gallery 
which had been the scene of the previous three shows. The 
society, which then consisted of twenty-five members, made still 
more evident the break with its earlier associations by moving to 
a room at Exeter Hall, where it remained for three years ; and 

R 1 v 



THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 

then, in 1838, it established itself at 38, Pall Mall. .By that time 
it had settled down into quiet and satisfactory prosperity ; it had 
gained a recognised position, and was able to attract to its ranks 
many of the more distinguished among the younger artists who had 
not already been appropriated by its rival. Consequently its 
exhibitions secured a very fair share of popularity, and quickly 
came to be regarded as welcome additions to the comparatively 
limited number of shows which were at that period open to the 
inspection of the public. Even while the society was going through 
the painful process of being hammered into shape, and while it was 
suffering severely from the infantile disorders which are apt to 
trouble such complicated organisations, it had not failed to draw the 
attention of people who were interested in water-colour painting, so 
directly it was in proper working order it began to gather round it 
a band of supporters quite large enough to ensure the success of the 
undertaking. 

It is by no means improbable that the admission of the amateur 
element into the society as it was at first constituted was one of the 
causes of the trouble which brought the concern, after its excellent 
beginning, to the verge of irreparable disaster. A certain incom- 
patibility in point of view was bound sooner or later to separate the 
professional artists from the men associated with them who worked 
simply for amusement or to gratify a taste for art ; and out of this 
incompatibility would come inevitably a division of interests and the 
arraying of one party against another. This division of interests 
would naturally be encouraged by the fact that the exhibitions were 
open to all classes of contributors, because consideration would have 
to be given to the demands of the amateur even though they might 
be antagonistic to the desires of the professional artist. Such mixed 
societies have not often enjoyed any long spell of prosperity, and, 
though they have been frequently attempted, they have usually 
failed through lack of sufficient cohesion. Fortunately the " New 
Society " had in it a professional party strong enough to force on a 
sane and practical reconstruction, and to get rid of the most 
dangerous defects in the original constitution. Otherwise its history 
might have ended abruptly in 1834 when " the cabal blundered into 
a law-suit and various other foolish and extravagant contrivances." 
One very perceptible result of this change in policy and methods 
was a definite improvement in the quality of the recruits whom the 
society was able to secure. From 1 8 34 onwards the names inscribed 
upon the roll of members are those of painters who have now much 
more important places in art history than could be assigned to the 
vi R 1 



OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS 

majority of the earlier contributors. Sarsfield Taylor's assertion that 
prior to the reconstruction members of inferior talent composed the 
majority seems to have been justified, but the double processs of 
introducing " better artists and more sensible men," and of 
eliminating those of " inferior talent " had certainly a beneficial 
effect, and made possible a considerable raising of the standard set by 
the society. The steady growth in the popularity of the exhibitions 
held under the new constitution, and the better position taken by 
the society when it became a close body, were due, it can well be 
imagined, to the more convincing character of the works of art 
presented in its gallery. It began to meet the " Old Society " on 
more equal terms, and its rivalry with its more firmly established 
competitor no doubt helped to secure for it the attention and the 
sympathy of a large section of the public. 

But by making this commendable effort to bring into its ranks only 
artists of recognised standing the " New Society " laid itself open to 
the risk of having many of its members carried away periodically by 
its rival. It became to some extent a stepping stone to the " Old 
Society," because a number of the water-colour painters whose 
merits it. was the first to recognise were unable to resist the tempta- 
tion to pass on into the other association, which seemed to them to 
offer superior advantages of seniority and professional position. 
That this tendency should have been developed is, of course, not 
surprising ; it is only in accordance with human nature that a man 
with a reputation to make, and profit by, should seek to turn to the 
fullest account what might be regarded as opportunities for advance- 
ment. But that repeated secessions of this character to some extent 
hindered the progress of the Institute is sufficiently obvious. 
Annually there were more gaps to be filled than would have been 
created by purely natural causes, and if the supply of capable men 
from without had not more than kept pace with the demands of 
both societies, the younger of the two might well have succumbed 
under such a continuous drain upon its resources. Fortunately the 
area of selection was widening year by year, and the additions to the 
band of candidates waiting for admission far outnumbered the 
vacancies caused by deaths and secessions. 

Some of the disappearances, like that of the " respectable men " who 
dramatically shook from off their feet the dust raised by the unre- 
formed society during its first troublesome years, were direct conse- 
quences of internal squabbles. All causes of dispute were not removed' 
by reconstruction, and even under the amended constitution there 
still remained subjects over which more or less serious differences of 

r i vii 



THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 

opinion were likely to arise. Differences of this sort brought about 
a kind of crisis some eight or nine years after the society had settled 
in Pall Mall, and several dissentient members withdrew. Among 
them were Edward Duncan, G. H. Dodgson, F. W. Topham, 
David Cox, Junr., John Callow, H. P. Riviere, and J. J. Jenkins, 
who all left between 1846 and 1850, and were received almost 
immediately into the " Old Society " ; and a year or two later the 
same convenient exchange was made by Charles Davidson and 
W. G. Collingwood. If all these withdrawals resulted from the 
condition of unrest which prevailed at the moment in the Pall Mall 
gallery, the junior society may well be said to have been once more 
on the verge of disaster, for it lost then a group of men who would 
have done much to establish it among the chief art institutions in 
this country — as can, indeed, be seen by the prominence of the parts 
they subsequently played ' in the affairs of the other institution by 
which they were welcomed. 

However, the young society weathered this storm as it had those 
which had previously threatened it with shipwreck ; and though it 
suffered appreciably in the process it had vitality enough to enable 
it to go on with its work without interruption. If the places of the 
men who had gone overboard in the breeze could not be filled by 
artists of quite as commanding ability, there were always plenty of 
available recruits whose merits were sufficient to justify their elec- 
tion, so that the number of members was not allowed to fall seriously 
below its normal level. During this period candidates were required 
to pass through the preliminary stage of associateship before they 
could aspire to the full privileges of membership. This division of 
the society into two classes was started in 1840, and it continued 
until 1879, when a reversion was made to the original system, which 
has been maintained to the present day. 

In 1858 an incident occurred which shows that the institution felt 
sure enough of itself to take the lead in an ambitious scheme for 
advancing the interests of the water-colour school as a whole. This 
scheme was set forth in a letter written by Henry Warren, the 
President of the " New Society," to Frederick Tayler, who was then 
at the head of the " Old Society." In this letter, which is quoted in 
Mr. Roget's history, reference is made to the rumoured intention of 
the Government to provide the Royal Academy with a site for an 
exhibition building, and a suggestion is advanced that the claims of 
the water-colour painters to consideration ought to be put forward 
in the event of any such grant being decided upon. The Academy 
was at that time in possession of rooms in the National Gallery 
viii R 1 



OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS 

building in Trafalgar Square, and as these rooms were required for 
the proper accommodation of the national collections, negotiations 
had been opened with a view of determining in what form it was to 
be compensated for its approaching ejection. The idea favoured by 
the Government officials was that the Academy should be assigned, 
on certain conditions, a piece of ground on which it could erect its 
own rooms ; and it was the probability that this idea would be 
adopted that induced Warren to invite the co-operation of the body 
over which Tayler presided. 

The invitation was put in these words : " It has been hinted by 
influential parties to some of our members that the water-colour 
artists ought to participate in such grant, and we have considered the 
propriety of memorialising the Government. But.it is thought that 
such memorial would be stronger if representing water-colour art 
generally, and that the two societies should either memorialise 
conjointly, or at any rate simultaneously." Tayler's answer was 
courteous but non-committal. He wrote, stating that in the view 
of the members of his society who were given an opportunity of 
expressing their opinion at the annual meeting in November, 1858, 
the matter was not far enough advanced to admit of any definite 
action being taken, but that he felt that there could be " but one 
opinion amongst water-colour painters as to the desirableness of 
securing for their branch of art its just and proper recognition." 
His letter left matters just where they were, and evidently it implied, 
without, however, any definite statement to that effect, that joint 
action was unlikely. 

But some three months later the full intentions of the Government 
were revealed, and it became known that the ground occupied by 
Burlington House and its gardens was to be divided between the 
Royal Academy and a number of other institutions of an educational 
character. The " Old Society " at once appointed a committee of 
members to consider the position, and this committee came to the 
conclusion that their policy would be to take an independent course 
in applying to Parliament for a share in the available space. So 
both societies presented petitions to the House of Lords ; both were 
well supported, but in the end neither were successful. Whether 
the result would have been different if Warren's suggestion of a 
combined appeal had been adopted it is impossible to say ; but as 
a very rigorous selection had to be made from a multitude of 
applicants it is probable that the water-colour school would 
anyhow have been denied its "just and proper recognition." 
By satisfying the demands of the Academy the Government had 

R 1 ix 



THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 

done all that it considered necessary for the encouragement 
of art. 

So the "New Society," disappointed in its desire to obtain official 
support, or to induce its rival to take any steps in the direction of 
amalgamation — an idea which may possibly have inspired Warren 
in his suggestion for united action — set to work at once to build 
a new gallery in Pall Mall not far from the rooms it had occupied 
since 1838. The modest dimensions of this gallery seemed to imply 
that the members had at the moment no idea of expansion or ot 
making any change in the conduct of their affairs. They had 
apparently reverted to their original scheme of operations, and were 
content to plod along in the way which, as their past experience 
proved, was likely to lead them to solid prosperity. They were 
clearly at peace with one another now, and there were no divergences 
among them on questions of policy to interfere with their steady 
progress as an art association. 

They were, however, still quite ready to take part in any movement 
which promised to affect the status of water-colour painting. For 
example, in 1862 they were associated with the "Old Society" in 
certain negotiations with the Commissioners of the London Inter- 
national Exhibition. The object of these negotiations was to safe- 
guard the water colourists and to ensure a proper supervision for the 
section of the exhibition which was to be devoted to works in this 
medium. The Commissioners had drawn up a list of institutions 
which they proposed to consult, and in this list both societies were 
included. So the two Presidents, Warren and Tayler, addressed to 
the Commissioners an enquiry, to which the signatures of both were 
appended, as to the propositions of the exhibition authorities, and 
asking that the control of the water-colour section should be 
entrusted to delegates chosen from the two bodies. The reason 
advanced for this request was that " the great bulk of the con- 
tributions will be made by artists who have been members of these 
societies," a quite legitimate contention which certainly deserved 
serious consideration. 

But the Commissioners did not view the matter in the proper light. 
As is usual on these occasions, the power was put into the hands of 
members of the Academy, and Messrs. Redgrave and Creswick were 
chosen to hang the works in oil and water colour which were to 
appear in the exhibition. An answer to this effect was returned by 
the Secretary of the Commission to the letter of the two Presidents ; 
but, with the idea, perhaps, of making less evident what was really 
a piece of official discourtesy, an offer was made to give to Warren 
x r 1 



OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS 

and Tayler passes which would allow them to enter the exhibition 
galleries while the hanging was in progress, when, as the Secretary put 
it, " I have no doubt that Mr. Redgrave will be glad to have the 
benefit of your advice and experience." This unfortunate offer was 
naturally resented by the Presidents, and they declined to accept the 
passes even when they were sent after Warren and Tayler had 
refused to be placed in such an impossible position. 
Their answer to the communication of the Secretary of the Com- 
missioners embodied a dignified and sensible protest against what 
was undeniably an injustice to water-colour painters and to the two 
associations which had done so much to give coherence to what had 
by this time become one of the greatest artistic developments which 
this country has seen. An extract from this protest can be quoted 
from Mr. Roget's book because it shows how correct was the 
position they took up : " We venture to state that the Department 
of Water Colour Art is not satisfactorily dealt with. In Paris, in 
1855, the Presidents were invited to superintend the arrangements 
of these works. They are now in the hands of those who have no 
practical interest in this branch of art, and in whom, consequently, 
the water-colour painters fail to have confidence. We have had 
some experience in the anxiety and difficulty of arranging ordinary 
exhibitions, and we believe it to be out of the power of any two 
gentlemen to do justice to the claims of those artists who will 
confide their works to the International Exhibition. The Water 
Colour Societies were formed for the special purpose of advancing 
an art peculiarly British, and it seems reasonable that those most 
interested in its honour should have the opportunity of placing it 
before the world in the most advantageous manner." That the 
Societies had the best of the argument is decidedly not to be 
disputed, but unfortunately they had to be content with a moral 
victory. They gained nothing else by their display of public 
spirit. 

It is by no means unlikely that the selection of two members of the 
Academy to deal with water colours in the exhibition was greatly 
responsible for the attitude taken up by Warren and Tayler. When 
they said that the arrangements had been put into " the hands of 
those who have no practical interest in this branch of art, and in 
whom, consequently, the water-colour painters fail to have con- 
fidence," they had probably in mind the traditional grievance which 
more than half a century before had spurred the water colourists to 
independent organisation. The Academy had never treated the art 
of water-colour painting as one which ought to be taken seriously ; 

r 1 xi 



THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 

it had, indeed, rather gone out of its way to fix upon workers in the 
medium the stamp of inferiority, and to ticket them as unworthy to 
be counted among the leaders of the profession. Among its earliest 
rules was one which specifically disqualified painters in water colour 
only from admission to its ranks ; and this rule had produced a 
distinctly bad effect, for it had induced many water colourists of 
high repute to abandon their own particular art for oil painting, so 
that they might become eligible for election into the Academy. 
No wonder that the Presidents of two societies of which the very 
existence signified a protest against Academic intolerance and neglect 
complained that the hangers at the International Exhibition had no 
practical interest in this branch of art, and were men in whom 
water colourists failed to feel confidence ; and no wonder that they 
refused to accept in connection with the arrangement of the 
exhibition an advisory position which not only gave them no 
authority but even insisted upon their professional unimportance. 
If nothing but an incidental display of a few water colours in the 
art section of the International Exhibition had been intended the 
indifference of the Commissioners would not have mattered so 
much, but as what was finally brought together was a collection, 
chronologically arranged, of well over six hundred drawings, it is 
obvious that the assistance of two such experts as Warren and Tayler 
would have been invaluable. They might well have been supposed 
to know best what was the condition of the art at that period, and 
to be properly acquainted with the various stages of its history. 
Moreover, as the heads of two exclusively water-colour societies 
with a record, in the case of the older institution of nearly sixty 
years, and in the case of the junior of just over thirty, they were the 
people who should have been first consulted, if only as a matter of 
courtesy. The episode altogether is worth dwelling upon because 
it is throughout particularly significant. It shows what was the 
conventional attitude towards this " peculiarly British art," and it 
throws much light upon the difficulties which had to be overcome 
in the formation and organising of a school which has achieved 
high distinction through the number and ability of its members. 
The " New Society " ceased to be officially known by that name in 
1863, and adopted instead the title of "The Institute of Painters 
in Water Colours." The change was certainly an improvement, for 
it put an end to the confusion which had been caused by the close 
resemblance between the designations of the two bodies, and it gave 
to the younger one a more definite standing. By calling itself 
" The Institute " the " New Society " ceased to advertise the fact 
xii r 1 



OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS 

that it was an association of comparatively recent creation and 
professedly in competition with a society which had naturally an 
advantage in a much longer record of successful working. In other 
respects it remained as it was before, making no alteration in its 
constitution and abandoning none of its aims to take and retain an 
honourable place among the institutions by which the progress of 
British art in its many phases is directed. 

In this same year the first suggestion of an amalgamation of the old 
and new societies seems to have been put forward. It was nothing 
more than a suggestion, and it was never seriously considered, but 
it may be mentioned because there were apparently people even 
then who thought such an arrangement possible. It arose in con- 
nection with the Commission appointed to enquire into the position 
and responsibilities of the Royal Academy. This Commission went 
beyond what was professedly its purpose and attempted some kind 
of investigation of the affairs of other artistic associations. The 
" Old Society " was one of those which received attention, and its 
president, Tayler, was examined before the Commission. He 
declined, however, to give the information required, on the ground 
that a revelation of the private concerns of the society would be 
contrary to its interests and would put the public in possession of 
details which were better kept secret. But he wrote a letter to 
Lord Elcho, from whom seemingly had come alternative suggestions 
that the society should be absorbed by the Academy or that it and 
the Institute should amalgamate, opposing strongly both propositions. 
A junction with the Academy was, he pointed out, impossible as 
matters stood, and an alliance between the two water-colour societies 
was hardly more practicable because " the one would not be willing 
to admit its great inferiority to the other, and on equal terms a 
fusion could not fairly take place." The "Old Society," in fact, 
valued its independence and was in a condition of perfect stability, 
which justified the belief that it could continue to do its work in the 
world with all necessary efficiency ; and the Institute was playing 
very ably a by no means undistinguished second part. Its position 
was hardly one of " great inferiority," but as the junior institution 
it would, in any attempt at fusion, have had to sacrifice too much to 
make such an arrangement practicable. 

A digression here is permissible to deal with the history of another 
organisation of water-colour painters which was destined to have 
somewhat close relations with both societies. It came into existence 
in 1865 and after supplying them year by year with a large number 
of new Associates was finally united with the Institute at the end of 

r 1 xiii 



THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 

the year 1882. This organisation was known as "The General 
Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings," and it established itself at 
the Egyptian Hall in the room called the Dudley Gallery, which has 
lately been demolished. Its intentions were set forth in a preface to 
the catalogue of the first exhibition : " the promoters of the exhibi- 
tion, now for the first time opened, have had for their object the 
establishment of a gallery, which, while exclusively devoted to 
drawings as distinguished from oil paintings, should not in its use by 
exhibitors involve membership of a society. These two conditions 
are not at present fulfilled by any London exhibition. The water- 
colour societies reserve their walls entirely for members, while those 
galleries which are comparatively open to all exhibitors (such as that 
of the Royal Academy) afford but a limited and subordinate space to 
all works in other materials than oil. The exhibition is, therefore, 
not that of a new society, nor is it intended in any way to rival 
existing exhibitions. Its establishment has been called for solely by 
the requirements of very many artists — requirements of which the 
reality is evidenced by the large number of works sent in for exhibi- 
tion. The promoters trust that the success of this their experiment 
may be such as to justify the hope they entertain of the exhibition 
becoming annual." 

This expectation was certainly well founded : not only did the show 
become an annual affair, but for seventeen years it continued to 
receive efficient support from the best among the younger artists of 
the time. There was, in fact, a necessity for its existence ; history 
was repeating itself, and the position of affairs which had produced 
such definite results in 1 83 1 was once more present. The number 
of artists of recognised and indisputable capacity had been steadily 
growing during this period of some thirty years, and there were in 
1865 more able water colourists than the two close societies could 
accommodate without making considerable alterations in their rules 
for the admission of candidates. A place was wanted, too, where 
the younger men, who had not yet reached positions of such promi- 
nence that they could expect to be received by one society or the 
other at the first opportunity, could keep themselves properly before 
the public and make a really effective bid for the favour of their 
seniors in the profession. The " General Exhibition " provided just 
what was necessary — a show-room where artists could exhibit their 
work under conditions not too exacting, and with the. knowledge 
that a reasonably high standard would be maintained in the 
collections periodically brought together. 

The management of the " Dudley," as the " General Exhibition " 
xiv r 1 



OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS 

was soon called by everyone, was in the hands of a committee of 
artists and amateurs, and its financial position was secured at the 
outset by the formation of a large body of guarantors, who insured 
it against loss in the event of its income from the payments of 
visitors for admission, and from the commissions charged on sales, 
being insufficient to meet expenses. A short time after the water- 
colour exhibition was started two other annual shows were included 
in the scheme — one of cabinet pictures in oils, and another of black- 
and-white drawings and studies. All these shows achieved a very 
large measure of success ; they were looked upon as institutions hardly 
less important than the exhibitions of the regularly constituted 
societies, and they never lacked support from the chief of the 
coming men. Indeed, a list of artists who made, or enhanced, their 
reputations by the aid of " The Dudley " would include a very 
large proportion of the names which are now given honourable 
places on the roll of the British school. The concern, unlike a 
formally constituted society, was not bound by more or less rigid 
traditions ; it asked only that the contributors should show a 
proper degree of proficiency in their craft ; and if this very necessary 
condition were observed, it was ready to recognise the widest 
variety of intention, and to admit the most diverse types of 
accomplishment. 

Certainly it played a notable part in the history of both the water- 
colour societies by providing them with a succession of eminently 
suitable candidates, and by enabling them to fill up vacancies with 
men who were already well advanced in the popular favour. The 
" Old Society " drew very largely upon the stock of water-colour 
painters offered by " The Dudley," and the Institute also obtained 
from this source some of the best men who joined it during the 
seventeen years or so that intervened between the establishing of the 
"General Exhibition" and its own change of constitution in 1882. 
Among these men may be noted some like Richard Beavis, Walter 
Crane, and Hubert von Herkomer, who subsequently passed from 
the Institute to the " Old Society " ; but most of the others 
remained faithful to the association which had been the first to 
welcome them into its ranks, and did their best to advance its 
interests. The creation of "The Dudley" may, indeed, be 
accounted a very fortunate circumstance, as it got rid of what is 
always a difficulty in the management of close societies — the proper 
estimation of the claims of candidates who come up for election. 
When artists are required to submit specimens of their work to a 
body of judges, and are expected, if they are unknown men, , to 

r 1 xv 



THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 

stand or fall by the few examples that they are able to bring 
together for the occasion, they are exposed to a test that is always 
severe, and sometimes unfair. They may gain a favourable verdict 
because by happy accident they have been able to show the very 
pick of their .performance, or they may be rejected because two or 
three isolated specimens of their practice are insufficient to illustrate 
their merits convincingly. 

But when, year after year, practically all the coming water colourists 
could be seen in competition one with the other in a reputable 
exhibition, where the judges who were entrusted with the duty of 
making a right selection could watch the progress of promising 
youngsters without being obliged to wander in a perpetual pilgrimage 
from gallery to gallery, a much more correct appreciation of the 
relative importance of the men whom they were disposed to consider 
became immediately possible. It was easy, too, to see whether this 
or that candidate was likely to prove a desirable member and to 
keep up the standard of his performance when he had been called 
within the haven of privilege, or whether he had tendencies towards 
conventionality which would develop directly he ceased to be under 
the stress of competition. To the leaders of the " Old Society " and 
the Institute "The Dudley" shows must have been extremely 
interesting, and well worth studying ; they must have saved them 
many discussions when the claims of would-be Associates had to be 
put to the vote. 

No gradual decay or waning of usefulness marked the last stages 
of " The Dudley " ; it ended by being absorbed into the Institute, 
which elected as members nearly all the men who were at the 
moment taking an active part in'the management of the exhibitions. 
In 1882, when this arrangement was made, the Institute had just 
brought to conclusion the working out of a scheme which, after 
some years pf preparation, promised to put it in a position of very 
great authority. This scheme was of an extremely ambitious 
nature, conceived on large lines, and in intention eminently sound. 
Circumstances prevented its complete realisation, but for this the 
members of the Institute cannot be blamed ; there was no lack 
of energy on their part, and they certainly did not fail to make 
the most of their opportunities of completing effectively the plan 
they had devised. They were unable, however, to unite all the 
forces which had to be allied before the undertaking could be 
carried out in its entirety, and they had accordingly to be satisfied 
with but a partial success. 

Early in the seventies there had sprung up among the more 
xvi r 1 



OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS 

energetic and progressive men who had come into the Institute 
a feeling that its constitution was too inelastic and too narrow in 
scope to meet the demands of the ever-increasing body of artists 
whose interests they wished to consider. They feared that as a 
close society it was more likely to decrease than increase in influ- 
ence, and that if it did nothing to bring itself up to date it would 
sooner or later fall out of the race, and cease to play any part in 
the affairs of the art world. No doubt they had learned a lesson 
from the prosperity of " The Dudley." There was an annual 
exhibition, open to all comers, which was enjoying in a marked 
degree the favour of the public. It was gathering to support it 
a band of prominent workers which, despite the drafts made upon 
it by the two societies, was steadily increasing in numbers, and 
threatening more and more to overshadow the formal institutions 
that were forbidden by their rules to take any liberal view of their 
responsibilities. Such a proof of the strength of the outside element 
seemed to the reformers within the Institute sufficient to justify 
them in planning a complete change of policy, and in seeking to 
enlarge enormously the scope of their activity. 

But first of all they saw that they must alter the manner in which 
the internal affairs of the Institute were directed. The distinction 
between full Members and Associates, between the men who by 
virtue of their membership exercised sole control over the working 
of the concern, and the Associates who had the right to exhibit 
in the gallery, but were excluded from all participation in details 
of management, must be abolished. It had led to an objectionable 
narrowing down of the administration. The power was in the 
hands of only a few individuals, and those, too often, old men who 
were more anxious to maintain obsolete arrangements than to make 
an effort to move with the times. There was consequently a 
tendency towards stereotyped procedure, to a kind, of fossilized 
system which kept the direction from being influenced by new 
ideas, and caused the society to lag every year more evidently 
behind its younger competitors. 

So a proposition was put forward that the Associate class should be 
abolished. This was, of course, vehemently resisted by the older 
section, and the matter was debated with some bitterness on more 
than one occasion. At last it was formally brought up at a general 
meeting, and after a stormy discussion defeated for the moment by 
the votes of the men who believed in keeping things as they were. 
The advocates of reform were, however, not so easily to be turned 
from their purpose. They held an informal gathering immediately 

R i xvii 



THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 

afterwards, and drew up an ultimatum which threatened the resig- 
nation of the whole of the younger party if their demands were 
not conceded. As such a secession would have meant practically 
destruction, for it would have taken out of the Institute not only 
the Associates, who naturally supported the new scheme, but also 
a considerable proportion of the full Members, the upholders of 
tradition had no alternative but to surrender with the best grace 
they could muster. They saw that the opposition was determined 
to have its way, and that if they held out any longer they would be 
set the impossible task of keeping alive an association which had 
suddenly been deprived of all its more active supporters. Accordingly 
they withdrew their veto and consented to the change. 
This was in 1879 ; by 1881 the scheme which had been so 
vigorously inaugurated had taken a very definite shape. The 
Members who were in favour of it, reinforced by a strong contingent 
■of promoted Associates, had a large majority, and so their policy 
became as a matter of course the policy of the Institute. They 
aspired to nothing less than the consolidation of all water colourists 
worth taking into account at all into an united body, which should 
do for this branch of practice what the Academy was doing for 
oil painting. As a first step in this direction they secured a site 
for a large gallery in which they proposed to hold exhibitions, like 
those at Burlington House, open to all comers, and as a second step 
they opened negotiations for an amalgamation with the " Old 
Society," so as to ensure the co-operation of all the chief exponents 
of the art. Had things gone exactly as they intended they would 
certainly have brought about a remarkable combination abounding 
with possibilities, and calculated to add some entirely new chapters 
to the history of the school. 

However, they failed to gain over the " Old Society " to their view, 
though they made two attempts to induce that institution to con- 
sider the scheme favourably. The first proposition was embodied in 
a letter sent by the President and Vice-President of the Institute at 
the end of April, 1 8 8 1 , in which, after announcing that arrangements 
had been practically completed "for securing galleries in which 
exhibitions of water-colour art can be held on a large scale," they 
proceeded to point out the advantages which were likely to accrue 
from a junction of the two societies for the carrying out of the 
project. To this letter an answer was returned about a week later 
by the Secretary of the " Old Society," stating that a General 
Meeting had been convened for the discussion of the matter ; and 
after the lapse of a fortnight another communication was received 
xviii R 1 



OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS 

by the Institute, accompanied by a copy of the resolution passed at 
this meeting — " That the Society having considered a letter from 
the Institute of Painters in Water Colours proposing an amalgama- 
tion of the two Societies to take the projected new galleries to be 
erected by the 'Piccadilly Art Galleries Company, Limited,' the 
Council be directed to reply to the same respectfully declining such 
proposal." 

The second proposition was made in March, 1882. During the 
interval a great deal of unofficial discussion had gone on, and 
representatives of both bodies — Sir J. D. Linton and Mr. J. Orrock 
for the Institute and Sir F. Powell and Mr. H. Wallis for the " Old 
Society " — had met to deliberate about the various questions which 
were likely to arise under the scheme of amalgamation and to 
examine together the plans of the new building. There had been, 
indeed, some misconceptions concerning the exact nature of the 
proposals of the Institute, but with fuller explanations the probability 
of a satisfactory settlement seemed to be increasing. Moreover, the 
younger association was prepared to make many concessions and to 
abandon certain of its own privileges to bring about the desired 
result, so that in renewing its overtures it was not merely trying to 
re-open a question which had been already settled. 
In the 1882 letter a plain statement was provided of the points at 
issue between the two societies. It began by reference to the fact 
that there was in existence some misunderstanding as to the nature 
and scope of the proposal for amalgamation, and it suggested that to 
this misunderstanding was probably due the failure of the previous 
negotiation. On the ground that a serious endeavour was advisable 
" to discover whether the difficulties in the way of such a union are 
altogether insuperable " it proceeded next to deal with the most 
important obstacles — the name of the society, the question of 
accumulated property, and the disproportion between the numbers 
of the two societies. The first was to be settled by calling the 
united body the " Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours," the 
second by the provision of a guarantee fund by each society, and the 
third by the readiness of a large proportion of the Institute members 
to return to the rank of Associates if by so doing they could promote 
the desired combination. The letter concluded with a declaration 
that the scheme was inspired by " a sincere desire to advance the 
progress of water-colour art " and that the Institute, in the belief 
that the want 01 united action was a source of danger, was willing to 
make any reasonable concessions to put matters properly in order. 
This communication, like the first, was duly considered at a General 

r 1 xix 



THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 

Assembly of the members of the " Old Society " held on April 25th, 
1882, and on the same day the answer was returned, to the effect 
that — "The members of this Society, while recognising and acknow- 
ledging the friendly feeling shown in the proposal of the Institute, 
which they very sincerely reciprocate, regret that after mature con- 
sideration they have been led to the conclusion that the fusion or 
amalgamation of the two Societies presents difficulties of various 
kinds which they find to be insurmountable, and that consequently 
they are unable further to entertain the proposition which the 
Institute has done them the honour to make." 

Apparently the idea which chiefly influenced the decision of the 
" Old Society " was that the financial responsibilities which would 
be brought upon the association by attempting Such an ambitious 
undertaking would be unduly heavy, and that the results of the 
proposed exhibition would be insufficient to justify the inevitably 
large expenditure and increase of liabilities. The Members felt that 
they would be committing themselves to a course of action which 
would be a little too experimental, to a policy which would certainly 
be expensive and only possibly productive of an income which would 
cover the very serious outgoings. They refused not out of any 
ill-will for the Institute, not because they failed to sympathise with 
its desire to advance the interests of water-colour painting, but 
because they thought that these interests, and their own as well, 
would be best served by keeping things as they were. No doubt they 
realised that by refusing to participate they ran some risk of losing 
the leading position which they had held for so many years ; the 
success of the Institute scheme might quite possibly have destroyed a 
rival society which persisted in maintaining the tradition of close 
exhibitions. But they were willing to take this risk because it 
a eemed less serious than the danger of being involved in financial 
responsibilities which would not be easy to control ; and on the 
whole their attitude has been justified by subsequent events. 
For, though the Institute, reinforced by some thirty new Members, 
the men who had been active in the management of " The Dudley," 
proceeded with its scheme, and took possession of its new head- 
quarters triumphantly, it was destined before long to experience a 
series ot annoyances, which were due to strained relations with the 
Company that owned the building. At first, indeed, everything 
promised well. The galleries in Piccadilly were opened in April, 
1883, with a brilliant ceremony, at which the King, then Prince of 
Wales, was present ; and in the inaugural exhibition, which con- 
sisted of eight hundred and ninety-nine drawings, sales to the 
xx R 1 



OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS 

amount of some £14,000 were effected. Shortly after the opening 
of this Exhibition the association became, by command of Queen 
Victoria, the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours ; and some 
two years later the President, J. D. Linton, who had been elected 
to this post in 1884, on the retirement of Louis Haghe after ten 
years' service, received the honour of knighthood. About the end 
or 1883 the Institute also made an attempt to establish free schools, 
more or less on the lines of those at the Royal Academy, for the 
teaching of water-colour painting ; but these did not produce the 
results expected, and were eventually abandoned. 
It was two or three years after the move from Pall Mall to 
Piccadilly that the dispute between the Institute and the Piccadilly 
Art Galleries Company became acute. The Company, the shares 
of which were held chiefly by members of the Institute, had erected 
the building at a cost of £60,000, upon a site a lease of which for 
a term of about eighty years had been obtained at a ground-rent of 
£2,000 a year. For the whole of this term the Institute was to 
be a tenant of the Company during certain months in each year, 
and was to be given a lease embodying these conditions ; while the 
Company was to have possession of the galleries during the rest of 
the year, and to be at liberty to let them when they were not 
occupied by the Institute. When the delivery of this lease was 
demanded by the Institute, the Company refused to carry out the 
agreement, and proceedings to compel delivery were accordingly 
commenced in the Court of Chancery. The case was ultimately 
settled in Court, and a compromise was agreed to under which the 
Institute received a lease of the galleries for the period of the ground 
lease, and became responsible for the sub-letting to other tenants, 
and the company retained the remainder of the building. This 
compromise was negotiated by Sir J. D. Linton and Mr. Orrock, as 
the representatives of the artists who were members of the asso- 
ciation ; it defined the position of the Institute, but at the same 
time it imposed upon it a greater financial strain and increased the 
risks of its position. However, no better way out of the difficulty 
was to be found, and the settlement had at least the advantage of 
securing to the artists the full control of their exhibition rooms, and 
of preventing any danger of future disputes concerning their rights 
and privileges as a Society. 

During the twenty years which have elapsed since this adjustment 
of the difficulties which threatened to greatly hamper the progress 
of the remodelled and reconstituted society, the Institute has carried 
on its work with a reasonable degree of success. That it has 

r 1 xxi 



THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE 

experienced its share of the vicissitudes which have in recent times, 
affected the prosperity of all artistic associations can by no means 
be denied ; but it has maintained its authority, and has continued to 
serve the interests of the whole body of water-colour painters with 
dignity and discretion. Some changes have taken place in the 
constitution of the body, changes brought about by the death or 
secession of prominent members, and the Presidency has passed from 
Sir J. D. Linton (who resigned in 1898) to Mr. E. J. Gregory, 
whose name was first inscribed upon the roll of the Institute in 
1 87 1. But in all essentials the policy which was decided upon in 
the early eighties has remained unaltered, and any departure from it 
now seems unlikely. The lines upon which the Institute is con- 
ducted have been too definitely settled, and have been too well 
tested by prolonged experiment, to make probable a divergence from 
them in a new direction or a reversion to the traditions of a close 
society. 

It is interesting to make some comparison between the character or 
the exhibitions for which the Institute has been responsible since its 
expansion and of those which have been arranged during the same 
period by the " Old Society." This comparison is legitimate, 
because these exhibitions represent points of view which are in some 
respects opposed. That both institutions are striving honestly for 
the maintenance of the art of water-colour painting in a condition of 
healthy activity, and for the encouragement of all workers in the ' 
medium who are sincere in their aims, is by no means to be dis- 
puted. But the " Old Society " adheres to the principle that the 
interests of the art are best served by shows made up entirely of the 
achievements of men of proved ability, who have as an essential 
preliminary to admission to its ranks demonstrated the justice of 
their claim to attention. It does not make experiments, and it does 
not open its galleries to immature or tentative effort. The result is 
that the collections it periodically brings together are a little formal, 
a little lacking in features that are novel or unexpected ; but, on the 
other hand, they are always distinguished and convincing. The 
people who go to see them can count with something like certainty 
upon finding an important gathering of accomplished and admirable 
work by artists with whose methods they are familiar, and upon 
being able to study the methods of some of the ablest living 
exponents of the technicalities of water-colour painting, and they 
can feel sure that the best traditions of the Society will be scrupu- 
lously respected. 

The Institute, however strenuous its members may be in their 
xxii r 1 



OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS 

advocacy of the highest standard of water-colour practice, cannot 
ensure in its shows quite the same consistency of quality. It can, of 
course, always depend upon the contributions of a number of 
eminent artists to give to each exhibition a kind of nucleus, round 
which the works of less known men can be grouped ; but as its 
galleries are open to all water colourists of reasonable ability, any- 
thing approaching uniformity of merit is not to be expected. The 
more mature performances of the Members are juxtaposed with 
those of artists who are neither so sure of themselves nor so 
experienced in the management of the medium ; and, consequently, 
there is usually a much greater range of accomplishment in the 
periodical gatherings. That this range should be as wide as it can 
be made without unduly lowering the necessary standard of practice 
is an essential part of the policy of the Institute. No work of 
sufficiently good quality is likely to be refused, no matter how much 
it may depart from what the Members may privately consider to be 
the strict traditions of water-colour painting, because the mission of 
the gallery is not so much to uphold these traditions in their entirety 
as to provide a place in which water colourists with new ideas about 
the possibilities of their craft can put forward their appeal for public 
and professional attention. The visitor to the shows may be 
surprised at some of the work he finds in them — he may even be 
shocked if he is a rigid stickler for the more formal conventions — 
but he can go with the belief that he will almost always see some- 
thing that will interest him legitimately and provide him with 
opportunities for instructive comparisons. He is practically sure to 
have some new sensations and to get some fresh impressions of the 
possibilities of the art which he desires to investigate. 
If therefore the " Old Society " mainly presents what may be called 
the fullest development of water colour, and shows expressively the 
connection between present and past beliefs and methods, the 
Institute gives rather a suggestion of the manner in which present- 
day convictions will probably be modified in the future. In one 
sense the " Old Society " may be said to be always a little behind 
the times and its younger rival to be a little ahead of them ; yet 
both are essential for the proper building up of the history of an art 
that is particularly alive and eminently capable of being directed 
along new lines. The Institute is a sort of training ground, where 
fresh ideas and ambitions are tested and the value of conspicuous 
departures from precedent is appraised by men of experience. It 
has played, and is still playing, a part of much distinction in the 
evolution of our water-colour school, a part that imposes upon its 

R i xxiii 



THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF PAINTERS IN WATER COLOURS. 

members a large amount of responsibility and that calls for constant 
study of the changing conditions of the art world. In its desire 
to do its duty thoroughly, it has not hesitated to involve itself in 
serious liabilities and to assume obligations which impose a 
sufficiently severe tax upon its resources. But in this it shows its 
sincerity, and proves that it considers the realisation of its aims 
to be worth some sacrifices. If it had continued as a close society 
it would probably have enjoyed year by year a due measure of calm 
and uneventful success ; but it would have remained a kind of 
shadow of the " Old Society," and would have helped but little to 
encourage the progress of English water colour. Now, however, it 
is the recognised rallying place for all workers in the medium who 
are not already appropriated ; and in this capacity it is doing work 
that is as useful as it is honourable. 



xxiv R I 




THE MEMBERS OF THE 
INSTITUTE 

.LTHOUGH it can scarcely be said that the 
Institute, when it was first brought into 
existence as the New Society of Painters in 
Water Colours, succeeded at once in obtaining 
the support of many of the men who are 
considered to-day to have a right to a place 
among the chiefs of our water-colour school, 
it is quite evident that the founders of the 
association were ambitious to rally round them a strong band 
of able artists. In the rather high-flown circular issued in 1 83 1 
to announce the inception of their undertaking, there is the 
fullest profession of various lofty aspirations which * might fairly 
have been expected to claim the consideration of the best men in 
the profession. This circular declares that : " History affords ample 
testimony to show that the encouragement of the fine arts has been 
considered an object worthy the solicitude of the wise, the liberal, 
and the enlightened of every age and in all civilised nations. In 
those countries where they did not find a home all was gloom and 
tyranny and desolation ; in vain do we look for their bland and 
social influence under such ungenial systems : for it is only amongst 
a people whose institutions are founded in rational freedom, and 
who are sufficiently civilised to appreciate the value of mental 
cultivation, that the arts which adorn society have ever been 
cultivated with success ; and in return those arts educate the human 
intellect almost imperceptibly, improve the general taste, and make 
politeness of mind keep pace with refinement of manners. 
" If, then, those distinctive marks of civilisation apply to the fine 
arts generally, it will be admitted that their application to painting 
in water-colours has a peculiar propriety. This truly British art is 
capable of being carried to a point much nearer perfection than it 
has yet attained ; but that great object can be effected only by a just 
and liberal course of proceeding — one under which its best interests 
would be promoted by affording to the unfriended talent of the 
country, equally with that of the established professor, a full and 
fair opportunity of publicly displaying itself without any restraint, 
except such as reason, good feeling, and impartial justice require. 
It is, therefore, solely upon the broad and simple principle of 

r 1 xxv 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

personal merit, that the New Society of Painters in Water Colours 
have made their appeal to the patrons and admirers of the arts ; arid 
upon that basis are founded the laws and regulations for the govern- 
ment of the Society and the management of their Exhibitions." 
This expression of the aims of the new society was signed by eight 
artists ; William Cowen, James Fuge, Thomas Maisey, Giles. 
Firman Phillips, Joseph Powell, George Sidney Shepherd, William 
B. Sarsfield Taylor, and Thomas Wageman, who as Foundation 
Members organised and arranged the first exhibition held in the 
spring of 1832. They received a very full measure of support for, 
as has been already recorded, the show included over three Hundred 
works contributed by some hundred and twenty artists, and was so 
far successful financially that there remained, after the expenses had 
been defrayed, a small balance in the hands of the treasurer. 
In the preface to the catalogue of this exhibition a further declara- 
tion of policy was made, which may be quoted because it shows the 
grounds on which were based the expectations of the men who were 
actively promoting the scheme of the society. " The art of 
painting in water-colours," it runs, " as it is now practised, may 
justly be said to be the creation of British genius. In no other part 
of the world has this branch of the fine arts approached the 
excellence which it has reached in this country. To this fact is 
attributable the deserved success and popularity of the Society of- 
Painters in Water Colours. The number of the members of that 
Society is, however, limited ; and although, at the period of its 
establishment, that number probably comprehended a majority or 
the ablest water-colour painters in the kingdom, such is far from 
being the case at present ; as a proof of which there are every year 
numerous applications for admission into the Society of Painters in 
Water Colours which are rejected, simply because there are not 
any vacancies and not on the ground of any want of qualification in 
the applicants. It is nevertheless werl known that at present there 
is no place in the metropolis in which paintings in water colours 
are exhibited to advantage but in the gallery of that Society. 
" Under these circumstances, many professors of water-colour 
painting in its various departments are impressed with the conviction 
that no mode remains to them of bringing their works fairly before 
the public but by the formation of a New Society. They are 
persuaded that there is ample room for two Societies ; and that 
there is abundant talent in the country to furnish an additional 
annual exhibition, the merit of which will entitle it to the 
encouragement of the public. To form this institution on a liberal 
xxvi r 1 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

and extended plan — to diffuse its advantages as widely as possible, 
and to produce a greater variety of talent, it is proposed to extend 
the number of exhibitors and merely to limit the number of works 
sent in by each painter." 

The essential point of difference between the New Society and the 
older institution with which it proposed to enter into competition 
is plainly asserted in this last sentence. The actual members were 
not to be, as they were, and still are, in the " Old Society," the 
sole contributors to the exhibitions, but were to act as a kind of 
managing committee and be responsible for maintaining a proper 
standard of quality in the shows to be brought together. This 
probably accounts for the comparatively small membership of the 
New Society during the first three or four years of its career. 
It began, as has been already mentioned, with only eight Members, 
it had nineteen in 1833, twenty-one in 1834, and twenty-eight in 
1835, the year in which it decided to change its constitution and 
become a close society. After that the increase was more marked ; 
and in 1842, ten years after the opening of the first exhibition, the 
total amounted to forty-eight. 

How anxious the Society was to gather round it as many outside 
supporters as possible can be inferred from the tone of the preface — 
or " Address," as it is called — to the 1833 catalogue, when it had 
changed its name to " The Associated Painters in Water Colours." 
This change, for some occult reason, was assumed to be likely to 
advance the interests of the association — " In submitting to the 
Patrons and Professors of Art this Second Annual Exhibition of 
Paintings in Water Colours, the committee feel it necessary to state 
that for the extension of its advantages, in a professional point of 
view, and to render its character less limited and more national, the 
designation of the exhibition will, in future, be that of "The 
Associated Painters in Water Colours," under which designation 
the privileges possessed by donors, or subscribers, will be preserved 
as originally established. 

" The formation of the Association having arisen out of the great 
necessity that was found to exist for extending the means by which 
men of talent may have a fair opportunity of bringing their works 
advantageously before the public, and thus be enabled to share in 
that patronage so liberally bestowed on this branch of the fine arts — 
the regulations, as to professors, will continue to be such as to offer 
every facility for the exhibition of their works. It is only upon 
the broad and simple principle of personal merit that this Institution 
has been founded, and its regulations formed ; and it being, there- 
in 1 xxvii 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

fore, solely by the talent displayed in his works that the artist can 
claim any preference — men of real merit, hitherto kept in com- 
parative obscurity, and unknown to the public, will thus receive 
equal attention, and will have an opportunity of displaying their 
drawings without any restraint, except such as reason, good feeling, 
and impartial justice require. 

" The degree of interest that is felt in the most exalted and 
influential portion of society for the successful cultivation and 
improvement of an art universally acknowledged to owe its present 
perfection to British genius is sufficiently evidenced by the Royal 
and noble patronage with which this Association has been honoured, 
and it is under these highly favourable auspices that the promoters 
of the exhibition presume respectfully to solicit the encouragement 
of those who may feel anxious for the prosperity of an Institution 
founded, as this avowedly is, on truly liberal principles." 
Some hint, however, that things were not going quite smoothly 
with the Society is given in the circular issued on February 28th, 
1834, to announce the completion of the arrangements for that 
year's exhibition : — " The Committee beg leave most respectfully to 
call the attention of the nobility and gentry to the Third Annual 
Exhibition of the New Society of Painters in Water Colours ; and 
in returning their sincere thanks for the flattering support that has 
been already afforded them, they most earnestly solicit the con- 
tinuance and extension of the same generous patronage to the 
ensuing exhibition, which will be opened to the public on Monday, 
the 7th of April next. In conducting the affairs of the above 
Society many difficulties have arisen which have happily been 
surmounted ; and the Committee feel great pride in directing public 
attention to the only institution which affords an ample opportunity 
for the rising talent of the day to develop itself in this truly English 
department of the arts. That such a Society had long been a 
desideratum must be obvious to all from the well known exclusion, 
from the original one, of all works (however talented) not 
executed by its own members, it being a distinguishing feature 
in the Regulations of the New Society — that every artist 
in the United Kingdom is eligible to become a member or 
exhibitor." 

These admitted "difficulties" refer presumably to the internal 
dissensions mentioned in the previous chapter. They seem to have 
caused an astonishing number of changes in the constitution of the 
body of men who were responsible members of the Society and 
directed its affairs. For example, of the eight artists who signed 
xxviii R 1 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

the 1 83 1 circular and managed the first exhibition in 1832, four 
disappeared in 1833 — Cowen, Fuge, Sarsfield Taylor and Wageman. 
For the 1833 exhibition fifteen new members joined the four who 
remained : A. Clint, J. M. Burbank, T. Wood, M. Macpherson, 
R. W. Buss, E. J. Pasquier, T. Lindsay, A. Martin, E. Duncan, 
T. S. Cooper, J. Noblett, G. Chambers, W. H. Kearney, W. H. Bach, 
and G. Scharf ; and of these, Clint, Wood, Buss, Martin, Duncan, 
Cooper, and Chambers had gone before the opening of the 1834 
show. The newcomers in that year were W. N. Hardwick, 
V. Bartholomew, H. P. Riviere, H. E. Downing, J. A. Cahusac, 
W. Hudson, J. Burgess, James Fahey, B. R. Green, John Chase, 
and Thomas Dunage, and three of these, Bartholomew, Burgess and 
Dunage, with Pasquier, Bach, Macpherson, Powell, and Burbank, 
do not figure in the list for 1835. Chambers and Bartholomew 
were elected Associates of the "Old Society" in 1834 and 1835 
respectively. 

Immediately after the closing or the 1834 exhibition, the radical 
change in the policy of the Society seems to have been decided 
upon. The nature of this change is set forth in a manuscript in the 
possession of the Institute : — " The undersigned gentlemen do 
hereby agree to unite together for the purpose of remodelling the 
New Society of Painters in Water Colours upon the understanding 
that none but responsible members shall be exhibitors, and that they 
agree to share equally the expenses and labours necessary for the 
same." To this document are appended the names of B. R. Green, 
G. S. Shepherd, W. N. Hardwick, W. H. Kearney, H. E. 
Downing, J. M. Burbank, G. Scharf, J. A. Cahusac, J. Burgess, 
Thomas Lindsay, James Fahey, Thomas Maisey, and John Chase, 
already Members of the Society, and those of three new men, G. B. 
Campion, G. H. Laporte, and Gordon Bradley, who now appear for 
the first time. In the interval between the preparation of this 
agreement — which is dated July 29th, 1834— and the opening of 
the 1835 exhibition, several additions were made to the list. 
Duncan came in again, and with him Hudson, Noblett, and Riviere, 
who were members under the old condition of affairs ; and a 
number of new people were elected — T. A. Firminger, Louis 
Haghe, G. Howse, W. Oliver, F- Rochard, G. Sims, C. H. 
Weigall, Miss Laporte, Mrs. Harrison, and Miss M. A. Rix. 
Burbank and Burgess, though they signed the agreement, did not 
continue to belong to the Society. 

Such a complete change in the scheme of " an institution founded, 
as this avowedly is, on truly liberal principles," called for some 

r 1 xxix 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 
explanation. So in September, 1834, was issued a kind of 
manifesto, giving the reasons for the departure : — 
" Several important alterations having taken place in the laws of this 
Society, the committee beg to lay before the members of the 
profession a statement of the circumstances which have called for a 
remodelling of its constitution. 

" The object of the Association was, it will be remembered, to 
provide a gallery for works in this department of art, where they 
might be brought before the public eye without the injury to their 
effect experienced in other exhibitions, by an injudicious collision 
with paintings in oil. 

" The gradual improvement in the exhibitions of this Institution 
during three seasons, notwithstanding many serious difficulties 
experienced by its first supporters, warrants its members confidently 
to hope it may ultimately acquire a character as high, and stand upon a 
basis as firm, as that which has so long enjoyed the public favour. 
" Hitherto, however, not only the management, but the entire 
responsibility has rested with a few individuals, and through their 
means facilities have been given for a public inspection of works of 
talent, by which many artists have risen to an eminent rank in their 
profession, who were before comparatively unknown to the public. 
This having been effected, it was reasonably hoped that gentlemen 
who had derived benefits from the Association would have readily 
come forward to contribute their aid towards its support — even if 
actuated by no other motive than individual interest ; but these 
expectations have not been realised. 

" Another evil, which, if not provided against, must prove fatal to 
the Society, is the fact that so long as artists, whose views are 
directed towards the senior Society, and who from year to year offer 
themselves as candidates for election there, can elsewhere find a 
place in which to exhibit their works without even contributing to 
the funds necessary for its continuance — it is to be lamented, but 
cannot be denied, that persons will be found who are no further 
interested in the prosperity of the Association than as affording them 
a means of present advantage. 

" Thus, whilst the energies of a few are constantly directed to the 
firm establishment of a society for the furtherance of art and benefit 
of its professors, they are continually liable to be deprived of such 
artists at the very time when they had become really valuable 
contributors to the annual exhibitions, a deprivation effected 
designedly for the purpose of crushing that honourable spirit of 
emulation which should characterise all liberal institutions, 
xxx R 1 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

" It was, in consequence, resolved at a meeting held in July last, as 
the only course to be pursued, that artists interested in the welfare 
and future stability of this Institution should incorporate themselves 
into a society, the members of which should share equally in the 
management and pecuniary responsibility. 

" The committee beg to state that it is far from the intention of the 
Society to depart from those principles of liberality which 
prompted them to open their doors to the admission of talent ; 
on the contrary — though they feel an urgent necessity for such a 
reformation of their laws as shall place the Society upon a permanent 
foundation — they invite all artists of talent desirous of exhibiting 
their productions, to become members, and thereby share equally 
in the advantages accruing from it." 

To this rather long-winded circular, with its sufficiently definite 
exposition of the reasons which induced the New Society to turn 
its back upon its earlier principles, are appended certain extracts 
from the laws, " subjoined for the information of gentlemen desirous 
of becoming members." The chief of these extracts are : — " That 
the Society shall consist of an unlimited number of members " ; 
"That all artists of talent are eligible to become members"; 
*' That the expenses of the Society shall be borne equally by every 
member " ; and " That each member shall become bound to the 
President to forfeit the sum of twenty guineas on leaving the Society 
without the consent of its members." This last regulation was 
clearly intended to check the tendency, " to be lamented " but 
recognized as inevitable, on the part of exhibitors with the younger 
association to use the publicity they gained there as a help to 
admission into the " Old Society." It was no doubt inspired by the 
defection of Chambers and Bartholomew, and by the fact that other 
men like J. Nash, C. Bentley, and James Holland, who had been 
extensive contributors to the first few exhibitions of the New 
Society, had been almost immediately gathered in by its rival. 
The effect of this change of constitution was to increase at once the 
stability of the institution and to diminish the withdrawals of 
Members to an appreciable extent. But, despite the twenty-guinea 
fine, the periodical secessions were still inconveniently numerous — 
for instance Noblett and Hudson resigned in 1835, Scharf in 1836, 
and Bradley, Morison, Cahusac, and J. Martin in 1838 — and a good 
many new men had to be elected to keep the concern in proper 
working order. In 1836 there came in John Martin, Douglas 
Morison, J. Newton, R. Kyrke Penson, and W. Robertson ; and of 
these Morison only exhibited twice — in the exhibitions for 1836 and 

r 1 xxxi 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

1837 — and Martin once, in 1837, as a member, and once, in 1838, 
as an invited contributor. According to the roll of the Institute, 
J. M. Tayler was also elected in 1836, but, if so, he must have 
withdrawn immediately, for his name does not appear in the 
catalogues, and he did not contribute to the exhibitions. The same 
can be said of John Gilbert, who is included with Lilburne Hicks, 
Thomas Kearnan, Edward Henry Wehnert, and Miss Louisa 
Corbaux in the list of members added in 1837; he certainly took 
no part in the affairs of the society. 

Some evidence of the steady progress in the prestige of the New 
Society, and of the increasing readiness to join it on the part ot 
artists of notable ability, was afforded by the 1838 elections. The 
successful candidates were Aaron Penley, " Painter in Water 
Colours to Her Majesty the Queen Dowager," John Skinner Prout, 
the nephew of the more famous Samuel Prout and the friend of 
William Muller, John Absolon, Henry Johnston, and Edward 
H. Corbould, an able painter of historical subjects who was destined 
to remain a Member of the Society for nearly seventy years. Prout 
exhibited drawings in 1839 and 1840, and then went to live in 
Australia ; so his name was removed from the list on account of his 
inability to contribute to the exhibitions. He was, however, 
re-elected on his return to England in 1849, and he retained his 
membership until his death in 1876. Johnston left the Society 
in 1842. 

Five new Members were elected in 1839 ; Henry Bright, Thomas 
S. Robins, Alfred H. Taylor, William Telbin, and Miss Fanny 
Corbaux, who had shown drawings in the two previous years as an 
invited exhibitor. In this year a change was made in the 
Presidency of the New Society. Its first President had been 
Joseph Powell, who died in 1834. He had been succeeded by 
Thomas Maisey — "the man named, Maisey, who," according to 
Sarsfield Taylor, "had usurped the office of President" — and in 
1839 Henry Warren was chosen to fill the post. The change may 
have been due to Maisey's failing health, for he died in the 
following year, but the passage quoted in the previous chapter from 
Sarsfield Taylor's book certainly implies that the appointment ot 
Warren was a consequence of some sort ot revolt on the part of 
the newcomers in the Society against the authority of a President 
with whose methods they were not in agreement. At all events 
Maisey's deposition did not cause him to resign his membership ; 
his name appears in the Members' list in both the 1839 and 1840 
exhibitions. Warren held office for thirty years, and resigned in 
xxxii R 1 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

1873 on the ground of increasing age and infirmity; but he 
remained Honorary President of the Institute till his death in 1879. 
The change made in the rules of the Society in 1840 has been 
previously mentioned ; hitherto the candidates for admission had 
become full Members immediately on election, and had at once 
assumed their share of responsibility in the management of the 
affairs of the association. But in 1840 an Associate class was 
created, and thenceforward for nearly thirty years all new-comers 
had to be received into this preliminary class before they could be 
advanced to actual membership. The responsible Members in this 
year numbered thirty-four — John Absolon, H. Bright, G. B. 
Campion, Vice-President, J. Chase, E. H. Corbould, E. Duncan, T. A. 
Firminger, B. R. Green, L. Haghe, W. N. Hardwick, L. Hicks, 
G. Howse, Henry Johnston, T. Kearnan, W. H. Kearney, G. H. 
Laporte, T. Lindsay, T. Maisey, W. Oliver, A. Penley, R. K. 
Penson, J. S. Prout, H. P. Riviere, W. Robertson, T. S. Robins, 
F. Rochard, G. S. Shepherd, G. Sims, A. H. Taylor, W. Telbin, 
Henry Warren, the president, E. H. Wehnert, C. H. Weigall, 
treasurer, and James Fahey, secretary ; and there were besides four 
lady Members — Miss F. Corbaux, Miss L. Corbaux, Miss Laporte, 
and Mrs. Harrison, who did not participate in the working of the 
Society, and did not incur any financial obligations. 
To this list were added in 1840 five Associates — Thomas Shotter 
Boys and W. Knight Keeling, who were both promoted to member- 
ship in the following year ; O. W. Brierley and Thomas Miles 
Richardson, who retired together in 1843 '■> anc ^ F. J. D'Egville. 
Richardson became immediately an Associate of the " Old Society," 
into which Brierley was also received nearly thirty years later. 
The elections in 1841 were David Cox, Jun., Henry Maplestone, 
J. M. Youngman, and Miss Sarah Setchel ; and in 1 842 ' John 
Wykeham Archer, George Haydock Dodgson, J. J. Jenkins, Francis 
William Topham, and Mrs. Margetts. It may be noted that though 
all these — the lady Members excepted — were elected as Associates, no 
distinction is made between the two classes of contributors in the 
catalogues of the exhibitions at this period. All the names are 
included in one list of " Members." 

It would seem that the " New Society " had attained a position of 
reasonable authority, and had no need to seek for any large number 
of new contributors to strengthen its hold upon the public ; for 
there comes now a short period during which few elections were 
made ; there was one, of Henry Jutsum, in 1 843, none in 1 844, 
and three, John Callow, William Lee, and Miss Jane Sophia 

r 1 xxxiii 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

Egerton, in 1845. A marked and gratifying improvement in its 
popularity is implied also by the record of the sales in the 
exhibitions held during the years which followed closely on the 
change in the constitution of the Society. In 1838 the total 
amount realised was only ^385 js. od., in 1839 it rose to 
£739 is. 6d., in 1840 to £762 12J. 6d., in 1841 to £1,277 I2S ' °^-> 
and in 1842 it reached the respectable sum of £1,990 i6j. od. 
This progressive increase may be taken as proof that in the ten 
years that had elapsed since the first exhibition was held the 
development of the institution had been sufficiently continuous, and 
that the popular appreciation of its efforts had steadily grown wider 
and more efficient. 

But this happy condition of affairs did not last long. In 1845 
began the series of resignations which deprived the Society of some 
of its best supporters. Bright went in that year, Miss Laporte, and 
David Cox, Junr., in 1846, Duncan, Jenkins, Dodgson, and 
Topham, in 1847, and Jutsum and Callow in 1848 ; a group of able 
artists whose importance was proved by the readiness of the " Old 
Society " to absorb nearly all of them without loss of time. Cox, 
Duncan, Dodgson, and Topham, were elected Associates of the rival 
institution in 1848, Callow and Jenkins in 1849. Things were not 
going well with the younger society at that moment ; there were 
clearly matters on which the members could not agree, and the 
minority preferred resignation to compromise. 

However, there does not seem to have been any difficulty great 
enough to deter other artists from joining the New Society. The 
vacant places were filled by the election of William Collingwood, 
H. C. Pidgeon, Charles Vacher, Miss Fanny Rosenberg, and Miss 
Fanny Steers, in 1846; Charles Davidson, John Henry Mole, and 
Henry Theobald, in 1847 ; William Bennett, Robert Carrick, 
Michael Angelo Hayes, D. H. McKewan, and T. L. Rowbotham, 
in 1848 ; and Samuel Cook, Harrison Weir, W. Wyld, and 
Mrs. William Oliver, in 1849. Davidson and Collingwood 
resigned in 1853 and 1854 respectively, and joined the "Old 
Society" in 1855. 

During the next sixteen years — from the end of 1849 to 1866 — only 
twenty-eight additions were made to the list. In 1850 came the 
election of Thomas H. Cromek, in 1852 those of A. J. Bouvier and 
E. G. Warren, in 1854 those of Charles Brocky, Philip Mitchell, 
J. W. Whymper, and Miss Emily Farmer ; but there were none in 
1 85 1, 1853, or 1855. Only one candidate, James G. Philp, was 
successful in 1856, and one other, Thomas Sutcliffe, in 1857. 
xxxiv R 1 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

Then the number of elections began to increase again ; Edward 
Morin, G. A. Simonoau, and Henry F. Tidey came in 1855 ; 
Joseph M. Jopling and Edward Richardson, in 1859; Edwin 
Hayes, the sea-painter whose death is a matter of quite recent 
memory, and Carl Werner, in i860; Joseph Charles Reed, 
Mrs. William Duffield, and Mrs. Henry Murray, in 1861 ; 
William Wood Deane, who went over to the " Old Society " in 

1870, and W. Leighton Leitch, in 1862 ; Charles Cattermole, 
Henry G. Hine, and ' George Shalders, in 1863; and in 1864 
Charles Green, William Lucas, and William Luson Thomas, who 
afterwards as organiser and editor of The Graphic rendered services 
of the utmost value to illustrated journalism, and gave to a host of 
able black-and-white draughtsmen opportunities of inestimable 
importance. In 1865 a single election took place, that of 
Guido R. Bach, a very able painter of historical and romantic 
subjects. 

The list of names for 1866 is swelled by the addition of three 
Honorary Members, Rosa Bonheur, Louis Gallait, and J. B. Madou, 
the President of the Royal Belgian Society of Painters in Water- 
Colours ; the Associates elected in the ordinary manner were 
G. G. Kilburne, John Mogford, John Sherrin, and L. J. Wood. In 
the following year more Honorary Members were chosen — Madame 
Henriette Browne, F. .Goodall, R.A., J. R. Herbert, R.A., Daniel 
Maclise, R.A., Sir John Millais, R.A., and J. L. E. Meissonier — 
and six Associates, R. Beavis, Edward Hargitt, J. T. Hixon, James 
Mahony, Henry B. Roberts, and James Drumgole Linton, the 
future President of the society. This rapid rate of increase in the 
number of admissions was not, however, maintained, there were 
only three elections, of Valentine Walter Bromley, H. J. Johnson, 
and Andrew C. Gow— now a Member of the Royal Academy — in 
1868 ; and none in 1869. 

Three artists of unquestionable distinction — Thomas Collier, one of 
our greatest masters of water-colour painting, Edward H. Fahey, a 
sincere and accomplished student of nature, and William Small, a 
famous illustrator — joined the Institute in 1870 ; and six others in 

1 87 1, Hugh Carter, W. W. May, James Orrock, F. J. Skill, 
Hubert Herkomer, and E. J. Gregory, the last two of whom are 
now Royal Academicians. Professor von Herkomer, as he must be 
called to-day, left the Institute in 1890, and is a Member of the 
" Old Society," but Mr. Gregory has remained and fills the office 
of President, to which he succeeded on the resignation of Sir 
J. D. Linton in 1898. One election took place in 1872, of Josef 

R 1 xxxv 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

Israels as an Honorary Member, and one in 1873, of E. M. Wimperis 
as an Associate. 

This momentary pause in the elections was amply made up for in 
the following year when eight Associates were admitted. They 
were James Hardy, John A. Houston, a member of the Royal 
Scottish Academy,* William Simpson, John Syer, Joseph Wolf, the 
animal painter, Sir John Tenniel, the famous Punch cartoonist, 
Miss Elizabeth Thompson, better known as Lady Butler, and 
J. W. Oakes, who resigned in 1875, and was immediately after 
elected an Associate of the Royal Academy. Lady Butler left the 
Institute in 1878. Three more lady Members were added in 1875, 
Mrs. H. Coleman Angell, Miss Marian Chase, and Miss Mary 
Gow ; and three Associates, Towneley Green, C. E. Holloway, and 
C. J. Staniland. Four distinguished artists were elected in 1876, 
James Aumonier, Edwin Bale, George Clausen, and J. Seymour 
Lucas, all of whom are counted among the most popular and 
accomplished of living workers. The first two have remained 
Members of the Institute, but Mr. Seymour Lucas and Mr. Clausen 
retired respectively in 1888 and 1886, and are now Members of the 
Royal Academy. Mr. Seymour Lucas did not leave the Institute 
on his election as an Associate of the Academy : he deferred his 
resignation for two years after his entry into Burlington House. 
There was also one Honorary Member appointed in 1876, E. M. 
Ward, R.A., the popular painter of historical pictures. As the 
abolition of the Associates was decided upon in 1879, only four 
other candidates were required to pass into the Institute through the 
junior grade, T. Walter Wilson in 1877, and John Fulleylove, 
Harry Hine, and Paul Falconer Poole, R.A., in 1878. The first 
three of these, of course, became full Members in 1 879, but Poole, 
presumably as a consequence of his eminence among the artists of 
his time, was made a Member in the same year that he received the 
Associateship. 

Comparatively few additions were made to the list of Members 
during the three years in which the Institute was busy with its 
scheme for building its new galleries in Piccadilly and with its 
preparation for the great extension of its responsibilities which was 
to be undertaken as soon as these galleries were completed. There 
were five elections in 1879, of Henry J. Stock, F. W- W. Topham, 
Sir Coutts Lindsay, Lady Lindsay of Balcarres, and G. H. Boughton, 
who, in the same year, was chosen an Associate of the Royal 
Academy ; one, in 1880, of Lionel P. Smythe ; and one, of Mark 
Fisher, in 1 8 8 1 . The Empress Frederick of Germany consented to 
xxxvi R 1 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

become an Honorary Member in 1880. As so large an increase in 
the membership was immediately impending, this temporary falling 
off in the number of accepted candidates cannot be considered 
surprising ; it was nothing more than a momentary pause before a 
very vigorous move forward. 

By this move — the election of practically all the men who had been 
associated with "The Dudley" and had managed the successful 
exhibitions in that gallery — the roll of male Members was raised 
from sixty-four, the total in 1 881, to eighty-nine in 1882. Twenty- 
seven artists, all men of repute and distinguished capacity, came into 
the Society together, and with them three Honorary Members, 
Princess Henry of Battenberg, Dr. Edward Hamilton, and Spencer 
Vincent. There were, however, two resignations in 1882, of W. 
Lucas and R. Beavis, who had belonged to the Institute since 1864 
and 1867 respectively. The twenty-seven new names make a quite 
imposing list ; Charles R. Aston, Randolph Caldecott, F. G. 
Cotman, Walter Crane, Frank Dillon, Charles Earle, George S. 
Elgood, Keeley Halswelle, Colin Hunter, C. E. Johnson, Joseph 
Knight, Charles J. Lewis, R. W. Macbeth, Thomas R. Macquoid, 
Percy Macquoid, J. T. Hamilton Macallum, J. MacWhirter, Alfred 
Parsons, Henry Pilleau, J. I. Richardson, Arthur Severn, Arthur 
Stocks, Frank Walton, J. W. Waterhouse, John White, R. Caton 
Woodville, and W. L. Wyllie. Among these was a former 
Associate of the " Old Society," Mr. Macbeth : he resigned his 
membership of the Institute in 1891, and was re-admitted into*the 
"Old Society" in 1895. 

As the limit of Members — which had under the new scheme 
been fixed at a hundred — was not reached even after this comprehen- 
sive election, there were added in 1883 Edwin A. Abbey, Thomas 
Huson, Walter Langley, Ludwig Passini, R. Spencer Stanhope, and 
George F. Wetherbee ; in 1884, Frank Dadd, C. Napier Hemy, 
and H. R. Steer, with Count Gleichen as an Honorary Member ; 
and in 1885, Hector Caffieri, Thomas Pyne, John Scott, W. H. 
Weatherhead, and another Honorary Member, Edward Combes, 
C.M.G. About the same rate of increase was maintained to the 
end of the eighties ; there were J. C. Dollman, Claude Hayes, 
Joseph Nash, and Madame Teresa Hegg de Landerset, with two 
Honorary Members, Prince Louis of Battenberg and Count 
Seckendorff, in 1886 ; Alfred East, Cyrus Johnson, Yeend King, 
John O'Connor, A. W. Weedon, Miss Jane M. Dealy, and Miss 
Annie M. Youngman in 1887 ; T. Austen Brown, Bernard Evans, 
William Hatherell, Jules Lessore, W. Barnes Wo lien, Miss Alice 

r 1 xxx vii 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

M. Hobson, Miss Alice Squire, and one Honorary Member, Sir 
James C. Harris, K.C.V.O., in 1888 ; and in 1889 Joshua 
Anderson Hague, Carlton A. Smith, Miss Kate Mary Whitley, and 
Miss Kate Greenaway. 

But during this period there was a fairly considerable number of 
resignations. Lady Butler and Mrs. Coleman Angell had gone in 

1878, and, as has been already mentioned, R. Beavis and W. Lucas 
in 1882. C. Werner went in 1883 ; H. B. Roberts and J. M. 
Youngman, both Members of many years' standing, went in 1884 ; 
G. H. Boughton in 1885 ; W. Small, Mark Fisher, Walter Crane, 
with George Clausen, in 1886; L. J. Wood, J. MacWhirter, 
C. Napier Hemy, and J. Seymour Lucas in 1888 ; A. C. Gow, 
Colin Hunter, and J. W- Waterhouse in 1889; and in 1890 
the Institute lost Professor von Herkomer and Lionel Smythe. 
Several of these seceders joined the " Old Society " — Mrs. Angell in 

1879, Beavis in 1882, Walter Crane in 1888, Clausen in 1889, 
Napier Hemy in 1890, Lionel Smythe in 1892, and Professor von 
Herkomer in 1893. To complete this list it may be mentioned 
here that the same transference has since been madeby E. A. Abbey, 
who left the Institute in 1893, and went into the " Old Society" in 
1895, and by Alfred Parsons, who left in 1898 and was received 
into the other association in 1899. 

After 1889 there was for a while a diminution in the admissions 
of new Members, probably because by then the limit of numbers 
had been so nearly reached that there was no need of any special 
effort to keep the Institute at something like its full strength. No 
election took place in 1890; there were four, of Edgar Bundy, 
Robert Fowler, William Rainey, and Max Ludby, in 1891 ; four, 
of Charles M. Grierson, St. George Hare, George Sheridan 
Knowles, and R. B. Nisbet, in 1892 ; three, of J. Lucien Davis, 
Henry M. Rheam, and J. Leslie Thomson, and of Alfred Gilbert, 
R.A., as an Honorary Member, in 1893 > one > of Madame Henriette 
Ronner, in 1894; and none in 1895, m which year there was,, 
however, added one Honorary Member, B. J. Ottewell. 
Then followed three unusually busy years, during which not less 
than thirty artists of unquestionable capacity and of very varied 
conviction were chosen. Six of them, Gordon F. Browne, Arthur 
A. Burrington, Edward Davies, Albert Kinsley, J. Bernard 
Partridge, Miss Gertrude Demain Hammond, and one Honorary 
Member, Professor Hans von Bartels, were elected in 1896 ;. 
fourteen, W. D. Almond, W. W. Collins, F. W. Davis, David G. 
Green, John P. Gulich, Dudley Hardy, Phil May, Mortimer 
xxxviii R 1 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

Menpes, A. D. Peppercorn, John R. Reid, F. Stuart Richardson, 
Charles P. Sainton, J. H. Swanwick, and Hugh Thomson, in 1897 ; 
and nine, J. Shaw Crompton, G. S. Ferrier, J. Finnemore, W. Lee 
Hankey, J. S. Hill, R. G. Meyerheim, John Pedder, Henry Ryland, 
and J. Byam Shaw, in 1898. The same rate was not maintained in 
1899, for in that year only two candidates were successful — Edward 
C. Clifford and Alexander MacBride. The large number of 
elections during the latter half of the nineties was probably due to 
the fact that a great many gaps were made at or about this time 
in the ranks of the Institute by deaths, as well as by the resignations 
already recorded. Thomas Collier and Keeley Halswelle died in 
1 89 1 ; Jules Lessore and C. J. Lewis in 1892 ; Charles Earle in 
1893 ; Miss Setchel in 1894 ; H. G. Hine and Edward Hargitt in 
1895; W. W. May, P. Mitchell, Hamilton Macallum, and 
J. Sherrin in 1896; C. E. Hollo way in 1897; Charles Green and 
J. P. Gulich in 1898 ; and Towneley Green, William Simpson, and 
Joseph Wolf in 1899. Really very little more was done than was 
necessary to keep the Institute at something approaching its full 
strength. 

Since 1899 the introduction of new Members has continued 
regularly, but the number in any one year has been never more than 
five. There were four in 1900, Charles E. Dixon, Henry W. L. 
Hurst — better known as Hal Hurst — Claude A. Shepperson, and 
A. Winter-Shaw ; five in 1901, Thomas Arthur Browne, who is 
generally described as Tom Browne, George C. Haite, John Hassall, 
Cecil J. Hobson, and Horatio Walker ; none in 1902 ; four in 
1903, James Clark, Graham Petrie, Frank Reynolds, and 
J. Sanderson Wells ; one only, Terrick Williams, in 1904 ; and 
two, Christopher Clark and Alfred J. Munnings, in 1905. During 
this period again the elections have only just balanced the losses 
sustained by deaths and resignations. The deaths have been 
Charles Cattermole, E. M. Wimperis, and W. L. Thomas, in 1900 ; 
Madame Henriette Browne and Miss Kate Greenaway, in 1901 ; 
J. W. Whymper in 1902 ; Ludwig Passini and Phil May in 1903 ; 
Edwin Hayes in 1904, and E. H. Corbould in 1905 ; and the 
resignations have been T. Austen Brown and Hugh Carter in 1899, 
C. R. Aston and J. C. Dollman in 1901, and A. D. Peppercorn, 
W. H. Weatherhead, and Miss Gow in 1903. For the sake of 
completeness, it may be mentioned that before 1899 the Institute 
had lost by resignation two other distinguished Members, Mr. 
Wyllie in 1894, and Mr. East in 1898. 

A comparison of the' Members list in 1883, when the Institute had 

R 1 xxxix 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

absorbed " The Dudley " and had established itself in its new 
quarters in Piccadilly, with that of 1905, is not without interest, for 
it shows that a quite considerable proportion of the men who did so 
much to put the reconstructed society on a sound footing are still 
active in its affairs. These survivors of the eighty-seven Members 
who had been gathered together in 1883 are E. J. Gregory, the 
President, J. Aumonier, John Fulleylove, H. J. Stock, Edwin Bale, 
F- G. Cotman, Frank Dillon, George S. Elgood, E. H. Fahey, 
Harry Hine, C. E. Johnson, G. G. Kilburne, Joseph Knight, Sir 
Coutts Lindsay, Sir J. D. Linton, Percy Macquoid, Thomas R. 
Macquoid, James Orrock, John I. Richardson, C. J. Staniland, 
F- W. W. Topham, Frank Walton, Edmund G. Warren, John 
White, and Sir John Tenniel, who became an Honorary Member at 
the end of 1904. Of the lady Members three only remained in 
1905, Mrs. W. Duffield, Miss Emily Farmer, and Lady Lindsay, 
and one of these, Miss Farmer, has since died ; and of the Honorary 
Members there are two left, Princess Henry of Battenberg and Josef 
Israels. For further comparison it may be noted that in 1883 there 
were eighty-seven acting Members, twelve lady Members, and ten 
Honorary Members ; the numbers in 1 905 were ninety-five, eleven, 
and eight respectively. 

It can certainly be claimed for the Institute that during its career of 
more than seventy years it has at one time or another been able to 
count among its members a great many of the most accomplished 
painters of the British school. In a large number of instances it 
was the first of our art institutions to recognise the abilities of men 
who were making their way towards the front rank, and it did 
much to help these men onwards in their struggle for popular 
approval by publicly endorsing their appeal for attention from the 
public. Even in the fact that many of its supporters were 
periodically taken away by the " Old Society " and the Royal 
Academy — though no doubt the experience was annoying and to 
some extent disheartening — can be found a kind of practical 
admission that the Institute was encouraging the right type of art 
worker. If it had not chosen wisely the artists whom it was 
prepared to include in its own body of members, it would not have 
been used so persistently as a half-way house to other societies 
which had the advantage in seniority and in the prestige that comes 
from prolonged maintenance of a particular set of traditions. More- 
over, the readiness of these other societies to draw away men from 
its ranks, or to gather in seceders who had left for reasons of their 
own, is plain proof that the Institute was in the habit of selecting 
xl R 1 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

a majority, at least, of the artists who were worthy of consideration. 
It did not leave unattached sufficient of them to satisfy the demands 
of the competing institutions, and if it had been able to retain all 
the men it appropriated it would quite conceivably have perceptibly 
reduced the authority of its rivals by cutting off to a great extent 
their supply of suitable recruits. 

From the list of over three hundred men and women whose names 
have been inscribed upon its roll since the New Society made its 
first appearance in 1832 — a list, by the way, which exceeds by 
nearly a hundred that of the " Old Society," despite its additional 
twenty-seven years of life —it would be possible to make a selection 
imposing both in the number and the importance of the individuals 
recorded. It would include — without drawing upon the Honorary 
Members — such notable artists among the earlier members of our 
water-colour school as Edward Duncan, George Chambers, Aaron 
Penley, J. S. Prout, T. M. Richardson, G. H. Dodgson, F. W. 
Topham, William Bennett, T. L. Rowbotham, D. H. McKewan, 
A. J. Bouvier, J. W. Whymper, John Callow, Charles Davidson, and 
Harrison Weir ; and among the more recent masters of the medium 
who are no longer living, men of acknowledged eminence like 
Edwin Hayes, H. G. Hine, Charles Green, Guido Bach, Thomas 
Collier, E. M. Wimperis, J. W. Oakes, Joseph Wolf, C. E. 
Holloway, G. H. Boughton, Randolph Caldecott, Hamilton 
Macallum, and John P. Gulich, besides Mrs. Coleman Angell and 
Miss Kate Greenaway. In the array of living Members can be 
counted many of the painters whom to-day we reckon as leaders in 
their profession. There are, for instance, Mr. Gregory and Sir 
J. D. Linton, veritable masters of delicate and highly finished 
water-colour ; Mr. A. W. Weedon, Mr. Aumonier, Mr. Leslie 
Thomson, Mr. F. G. Cotman, Mr. Frank Walton, Mr. Claude 
Hayes, Mr. Yeend King, Mr. G. C. Haite, Mr. R. B. Nisbet, 
Mr. Fulleylove, Mr. G. S. Elgood, Mr. Bernard Evans, Mr. 
Macbride, and Mr. J. S. Hill, all landscape painters of exceptional 
capacity ; and draughtsmen of the figure like Mr. Edgar Bundy, 
Mr. Robert Fowler, Mr. St. George Hare, Mr. Dudley Hardy, 
Mr. Wetherbee, Mr. Lee Hankey, Mr. Tom Browne, Mr. James 
Clark, Mr. John Hassall, and Mr. Byam Shaw, whose position in 
our art world is wholly beyond question — and all of these are 
actual contributors to the exhibitions of the Institute. 
But besides the artists who are Members to-day there would have to 
be added to the record which proves how the Institute has carried 
on its work the names of many other living artists, past Members 

r 1 xli 



THE MEMBERS OF THE INSTITUTE 

who have gone elsewhere — Mr. E. A. Abbey, Mr. Parsons, Mr. 
J. W. Waterhouse, Mr. A. C. Gow, Professor von Herkomer, 
Mr. Clausen, Mr. Seymour Lucas, Mr. Lionel Smythe, Mr. Wyllie, 
Mr. Walter Crane, Mr. Napier Hemy, Mr. East, Mr. MacWhirter, 
and Mr. Macbeth, who may not unfairly be said to have been 
helped by the Society to take the places in the world to which they 
were entitled by their merits. When in years to come the art 
history of our time is written by chroniclers who will judge 
recorded events with the impartiality born of remoteness from the 
strivings of the period with which they are dealing, it will certainly 
be counted to the credit of the Institute that it should have been so 
ready to perceive the promise of the younger artists of the 
nineteenth century. And it will be commended, as it deserves, for 
having kept alive through all the changes and developments of its 
policy a proper sense of artistic responsibility, and for having sought 
consistently to attach to itself as members those workers for whom 
distinction could not unreasonably be prophesied. How largely it 
succeeded in its aim will be proved, in the opinion of art historians, 
quite as much by the list of artists who made the society only a 
temporary stopping-place, as by the roll of members who lived 
and died in its ranks. 



xlii R i 



PLATES 




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(By Permission of A. T. Hollingsworth, Esq.) 



plate ii. "THE STUDENT." by CHAS. GREEN. 




(By Permission of Lawrence B. Phillips, Esq.) 



plate 111. "THE INFANT PAN." by GUIDO BACH. 



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(By Permission of Dr. Dyce Brown ) 



plate iv. "A FRENCH FISHER GIRL." by SIR -J. D. LINTON. 



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plate vi. "THE BIRTHDAY." by E. J. GREGORY, R. A., P.R.I. 





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plate ix "MISFITS." by SIR JOHN TENNIEL. 



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plate Xll. "THE ROTUNDA AND CHAPEL OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE." BY JOHN FULLEYLOVE. 
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PLATE xvii. LE FOLGOET. By G. S. ELGOOD. 




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plate xx "AN OLD CORNISH WOMAN." by WALTER LANGLEY. 
(By Permission of Alexander M. Phillips, Esq.] 




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(By Permission of J. Henry Hill, Esq.) 



plate xxi. A FISHERMAN'S TREASURE." by GEO. WETHERBEE. 



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plate xxvii. "AN ALLEGORY/' by JULES LESSORE. 




...(Copyright reserved.) 



plate xxviii. "ON COME THE CURLED CLOUDS." by BERNARD EVANS. 




plate xxix. "THE STREET SHOW." by KATE GREENAWAY. 



(By Permission of Messrs. Fredk. Warne & Co.) 




(By Permission of Frankland Gaskell, Esq.) 



plate xxx. "A READER." by ROBERT FOWLER. 



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plate xxxi. "THIS-ALL THIS WAS IN THE OLDEN TIME LONG AGO." by ST. GEORGE HARE. 
(Copyright reserved.) 




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PLATE XXXV. 



PEONIES." by DUDLEY HARDY. 




(Copyright reserved.) 



plate xxxvi. " BE NEAR ME WHEN I FADE AWAY." by W. LEE HANKEY. 




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plate xxxix. "THE MERCHANT." by JOH N H ASSALL. 



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plate xu "SADNESS IN SPRING." by JAMES CLARK. 
(By Permission of the President and Council of the Royal Institute.) 



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